Across the Murray-Darling Basin, there are physical and operational barriers - or “constraints” – that limit the flows that can be delivered and the outcomes that can be achieved. (Glossary) Physical constraints include things like roads, bridges and private land that would be flooded at higher flows, causing damage and affecting access. Operational constraints include arrangements and processes, such as channel sharing, water accounting and the ability to order water from specific locations.

lower goulburn river

Constraints Management Strategy

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Constraints Management Strategy, released in 2013, set out seven key areas where physical constraints need to be addressed to maximise the benefits of environmental water delivery in the southern connected Basin.

This strategy looked at ways to address these constraints, including raising the height of bridges to maintain access at higher flows, improving flood warning systems and purchasing flood easements to enable private land to be watered. The outcomes that can be achieved in each reach will depend on addressing constraints in the system; a better understanding of the links and interdependencies across the basin is needed.

Victoria’s approach

We are committed to delivering environmental outcomes across the Basin.  However, the Victorian Government recognises that any relaxation of constraints will pose third party flooding related risks which can impact public and private land, infrastructure, stock and people.

Victoria will not:

  • flood private property without consent, or
  • undertake compulsory acquisition of land or easements.

We can enhance natural higher flow events by putting in place measures that prevent and mitigate any potential impacts associated with higher flows on public and private land. These measures require agreement by affected landholders.

One constraints project, the Hume to Yarrawonga measure, is included in Victoria’s package of 22 offset projects.

This project involves investigating opportunities to address physical constraints to the delivery of higher regulated flows – up to a maximum of 40,000 megalitres (ML) per day as measured at the Doctors Point streamflow gauge.

Investigations will examine the potential effects of higher flows on third parties and identify possible mitigation options with affected landholders to address unacceptable impacts. Possible options could be easements and/or infrastructure to allow the delivery of these flows to support improved river and wetland health outcomes. Landholder acceptance of potential works will be critical.

This project must be considered in relation to the other southern connected Basin constraints measures and is a joint initiative between Victoria and New South Wales.

Download the business case: Hume to Yarrawonga (PDF, 28.1 MB)

This project involves investigating opportunities to address in-channel constraints to the delivery of higher flows of up to 20,000 megalitres (ML) per day at Shepparton. Allowing the delivery of flows to the top of the bank would improve river health outcomes.

The work will be done in a staged and ‘bottom-up’ way with communities to understand the risks, impacts and costs, and develop feasible, practical and acceptable solutions to mitigate third party impacts. Building on this work, in close consultation with landholders and communities, further improvements to environmental water delivery will also be investigated. Landholder acceptance of potential works will be critical.

This project must be considered in relation to the other southern connected Basin constraints measures. This project is not included in the package of 22 offset projects put forward by the Victorian Government.

Page last updated: 29/07/19