New compliance tools trialled to protect Barwon–Darling flows

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Remote sensing data is being trialled by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to track an environmental flow through the Barwon–Darling Rivers.

The flow, which was coordinated by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, started in mid-April and is expected to flow through to Wilcannia by late May.

MDBA Executive Director of Compliance, Russell James, said MDBA Compliance Officers will be working to monitor and protect the environmental water, including using satellite imagery to trial how flows can be tracked through the system using real-time data.

“This is another way we’re improving our compliance and reporting across the Basin, to ensure water for the environment is getting to where it’s needed so it can deliver genuine environmental benefits,” Mr James said.

“These flows have been released at a key time for the health of the system, and have the potential to get really good ecological outcomes.

“Remote sensing will capture satellite images to give us a clear picture of how the water is flowing through the system and whether there are any inconsistencies.

“This data may also have potential to measure the success of the flow in maintaining ecologically important connectivity between different parts of the river system.

“We committed in our 2017 review of compliance to explore the potential of new and emerging technologies to support compliance activities and protection of environmental flows, particularly in unregulated systems like in the northern Basin.

“The NSW government has placed an embargo on this particular flow, to ensure it makes its way through the system.

“We’ll also complete an internal review after the event to analyse the benefits of remote sensing and how it can be applied for future compliance activities and watering events. As usual our report on this project will be published on our website.”

Members of the public are encouraged to report any allegations of non-compliance to relevant state authorities, or through the ‘Report a breach’ page on the MDBA website.

 

Original article published in MDBA Media centre, 02 May 2018 (link)