Water

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Vision: Water resources deliver the agreed cultural, environmental, economic and social values now and for future generations.

A photo of a child looking out over Polly McQuinns swimming hole in the Strathbogie Ranges.

Water resources underpin the catchment’s economic productivity, biodiversity, ecosystem function and services and social wellbeing. Consequently, water resources are valued for a range of uses including cultural, recreational, agricultural, human consumption, environmental and so on.

Consumption and environmental demand for water is increasing while water availability is highly variable in a changing climate. For example, water supply may be lower with altered seasonality and extreme weather events.

The separation of land and water entitlements has resulted in water trading. As a result, demand from outside the catchment can influence local water availability and undesirable waterway flows. Increasing demand and/or less supply, combined with financial cost, has increased the emphasis on using water efficiently.

Water demand often outstrips supply given the complexity of the water trading market, the range of water use and values and the changing climate. This creates many challenges when prioritising water use and increases the importance of a catchment-wide approach that involves the community and decision-makers.

Where possible, water for agriculture, industry and towns is released in a manner that complements the environmental needs of rivers, wetlands and floodplains. This means that water for each sector can deliver benefits, for example, consumptive water can also deliver environmental benefits as it flows through the system.

Water allocations have become available for the environment in recent years. This helps fill gaps or provide triggers where water regulation, use and climate change have impacted environmental flows. This has already shown benefits for vegetation, water birds and fish.

A snapshot of the water theme of the strategy is provided in Figure 49, click on the tabs below for further details.

A diagram summarising the water theme content of the strategy, with four main sections: current situation in 2021, critical attributes, medium-term outcomes and what success looks like in 2040. The content of the diagram is described in the information below the diagram.
Figure 49: Summary of the water theme of the Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy

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