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Water licensees gather to talk management options

News release
28 February 2020

Water licensees from the MacDonnell management area have met to discuss management options in relation to the high risk identified in a recent risk assessment of water resource conditions.

Dr Kerry DeGaris said the meeting was called by the South East Natural Resources Management Board for licensees to meet and discuss management options for the management of water in the area which includes important dairy and livestock operations.

“The new risk assessment for the Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan resulted in a high risk for MacDonnell,” Dr DeGaris said.

“The recently observed seasonal fluctuation in water levels has increased and there is a risk this will have serious impact on the coastal springs in the area that are groundwater fed.”

“At this time, the Minister for Environment and Water will not be implementing reductions in the MacDonnell management area, so it was important to meet with licensees to discuss other options to manage the valuable water resource.”

“We recognise the importance of supporting local industry, while managing the environmental impact of water extraction.”

In the MacDonnell area, 39 wetlands are groundwater dependent, some contain threatened species and vegetation and have internationally and nationally recognised values requiring protection.

Licensees at the workshop discussed options on how they will manage water use in the area, and minimise negative impacts to resources and these important ecosystems. A variety of options were put forward and discussed at the workshop.

Further consultation with licensees will occur before the management options are presented to the Minister for Environment and Water for consideration.

“We value collaborating with MacDonnell licensees in this process and we look forward to working together in the future,” Dr DeGaris said.

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