The Victorian Government has released modelling that it says shows that the health of the Murray River can be secured using significantly less water for environmental flow.


State Water Minister Peter Walsh said data provided by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority showed that environmental damage would be minimal if consumptive water use was reduced by 2100 gigalitres instead of the proposed 2750 gigalitres.


"The modelling shows very little environmental gain is achieved by the extra cuts to consumptive water," Mr Walsh said.


"The health of the Murray, including the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth can be secured by using less water than what has been proposed by the draft Basin Plan.


"This would leave more water for food production and provide a future for the hundreds of communities that rely on the Murray for their livelihoods.


"It would give the Commonwealth an extra $1.3 billion which could be invested in infrastructure works to improve the management of environmental flows.”

"This modelling is clear evidence that the money the Commonwealth plans to use to purchase more water to make up the 2750 gigalitres should instead be invested in works to improve the river's management," Mr Walsh said.