About the Northern Basin Toolkit
The Northern Basin Toolkit is a collection of projects, or 'toolkit measures', supporting a 70 GL reduction in water recovery targets in the northern Basin rivers under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, agreed to by state and Australian Governments.
The toolkit will improve the ecological health of northern Basin rivers through environmental infrastructure works and measures identified in the Northern Basin Review.
- arrangements to protect environmental flows
- targeted recovery of water
- event-based mechanisms (such as options for pumping and store-and-release)
- improvements to the coordination and delivery of environmental water
- environmental works and measures to promote fish movement and habitat (such as building fishways)
- removal of physical constraints in the Gwydir catchment to improve flows to the wetlands.
The Murray Darling Basin Plan was developed to improve and maintain healthy rivers and floodplains, while supporting sustainable agriculture, industries and communities. The plan is about more than water recovery, it is about striking a balance to ensure a resilient and productive environment for the future.
The Northern Basin Toolkit is a $180 million investment in the ecological health of the northern Basin and will be implemented in a way that generates jobs and economic activity in rural and regional communities. The toolkit measures will create opportunities for local communities; improve river management across the northern Basin and protect water for the environment.
Working with the NSW and Queensland Governments, the Australian Government is providing up to $180 million for the implementation of toolkit projects.
The NSW Government is responsible for delivering four projects under the toolkit as outlined below.
Fish passage: Reconnecting the Northern Basin project
Creating fish migration paths across more than 2000 km of waterways.
Fish-friendly Water Extraction project
Growing fish populations by protecting them from irrigation pumps.
Reconnecting Watercourse Country
Building environmental water corridors in the Gwydir to support the lifecycle needs of wildlife.
Photo credit: Nicola Brookhouse, Department of Planning and Environment