Re­port sup­ports NWI’s out­comes

Shepparton News - Country News - - MAN’S BEST FRIEND -

The Na­tional Wa­ter Ini­tia­tive has made a ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion’’ to bet­ter man­ag­ing Aus­tralia’s nat­u­ral re­sources, ac­cord­ing to a Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion draft re­port.

The re­port was tasked with as­sess­ing the out­comes of the NWI and re­lated wa­ter re­form ef­forts and con­sider the po­ten­tial scope for im­prove­ment.

Na­tional Ir­ri­ga­tors Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Steve Whan said the draft re­port showed progress had been made.

‘‘The com­mis­sion’s draft progress re­port on na­tional wa­ter re­form makes it very clear that a huge trans­for­ma­tion has taken place in Aus­tralian wa­ter use since the re­form process started in the 1990s and par­tic­u­larly since the 2004 Na­tional Wa­ter Ini­tia­tive,’’ Mr Whan said.

‘‘Ir­ri­ga­tors and their com­mu­ni­ties have been at the fore­front of this agenda with the wa­ter mar­ket driv­ing ef­fi­cient de­ci­sions on wa­ter use and Aus­tralian farm­ers lead­ing the world with in­vest­ment in wa­ter ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity.’’

The in­terim re­port said wa­ter plan­ning ar­range­ments were in place for most ar­eas where wa­ter was used in­ten­sively.

‘‘While the full ben­e­fits of pro­vid­ing wa­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment will take time to re­alise, there is al­ready some ev­i­dence of im­proved eco­log­i­cal out­comes from en­vi­ron­men­tal flows,’’ the re­port said.

The fi­nal re­port is due to be com­pleted in De­cem­ber.

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