Water trade proving a valuable tool for Basin communities, where the society, environment and economy is able to sustain because of it.


Launching a new National Water Commission report at the Australian Water Congress 2012, National Water Commissioner Laurie Arthur said water markets have helped regional communities in the southern Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) to remain productive, even during drought.


Mr Arthur said, ‘Australia’s water markets have allowed water to be reallocated to where the need is greatest and reduced the impact of the drought on regional production. Water trade is playing a major role in achieving the National Water Initiative (NWI) objective of maximising the economic, social and environmental values of scarce water resources.


‘It is increasingly valued as a business tool and is now supported by the majority of the irrigators surveyed by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences for this report’, said Mr Arthur.


The Impacts of Water Trading in the Southern Murray-Darling Basin between 2006-07 and 2010-11 report is the second report produced by the Commission to fulfil its NWI obligation to monitor the impacts of interstate trade in the southern MDB.


The report confirms the main drivers of hardship in these communities include drought, commodity prices and exchange rates. Water trading is part of the solution in managing these difficulties.


The report also assesses the impact of government programs that purchased water for environmental flows over the four year period ending in mid-2011.  


This report focuses on the five-year period from 2006–07 examining the impacts of water trading on individual irrigators, industries and regional communities.


You can see the full report here.