The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has reported that it will require $38 million in funding this financial year while new research shows that less than 3000 gigalitres will be required for environmental flow.


Findings reported by The Australian show that new scientific modeling shows that the 2,800GL will be required for environmental purposes, a significant decrease from previous initial estimates of between 3,000GL and 4,000GL


The MDBA caused a furor in the farming community when it announced it believed a minimum of 3,000GL was required for environmental flow.


Outgoing MDBA chief executive Rob Freeman and executive director Fraser MacLeod told a senate hearing that the previous estimates were using research from what it deemed the “best available science”, but had since employed significantly different modeling techniques to estimate the amount of water required.


Although the figure is yet to be finalized, Dr MacLeod has confirmed that 2,800GL is the amount presented to both a forum and the Senate hearing.


The announcements of the changes to environmental flow come as the MDBA has announced it expects to spend $38 million this financial year on planning development to restore the health of the water system.


"[The money is for] running the agency, for its basin plan function, including any corporate overheads together with any consultancies etc. So the full budget for the basin plan activities for the current year is $38 million," Mr. Freeman said


The first draft of the MBDA’s plan is due for release in late June.