Windsor Inquiry and CSIRO disagree on environmental flows
The Windsor Inquiry, the federal political committee charged with guiding the future of the Murray-Darling river complex, has arrived at an impasse with the CSIRO over the necessity of end-of-system-flows.
The CSIRO has publicly backed the use of environmental flows, known as end-of-system-flows, to ensure the health and sustainability of the river system. The Windsor Inquiry, chaired by Federal Independent Tony Windsor, argues that the use of such flows in the quantity suggested by the CSIRO is unnecessary for a working river such as the Murray
The Windsor Inquiry has argued that recent events, such as the prolonged drought in the region, has proven that environmental flows are not as important as the CSIRO believes them to be.
A major recommendation of the inquiry is for the development of an environmental watering plan which will justify the levels of environmental water used at a region level, rather than an overall blanket requirement.
The disagreement between the two comes after the Murray-Daring Basin Authority downgraded its suggested environmental requirements to 2,800 gigalitres per year in light of new scientific modelling.