Pre-requisite policy measures

Pre-requisite policy measures are measures designed to maximise the beneficial outcomes of water recovered for the environment under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (Basin Plan). Previously referred to as ‘unimplemented policy measures’, they are outlined in section 7.15 of the Basin Plan and refer to actions which:  

  • Credit environmental ‘return flows’ for downstream environmental use
  • Allow the call of held environmental water from storage during unregulated flow events (‘piggybacking’)

When setting Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs), the modelling performed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) assumed that pre-requisite policy measures would be in place. Without these actions, more water would be required to meet the environmental outcomes of the Basin Plan, leaving less for consumptive purposes. Importantly, pre-requisite policy measures do not impact on the reliability of entitlements for other water users.

Pre-requisite policy measures are applied during the operation of the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) Adjustment Mechanism in the Basin Plan.

Implementation in Victoria

Provisions for crediting return flows and ‘piggybacking’ were in place across most of northern Victoria prior to the commencement of the Basin Plan. Officially, pre-requisite policy measures were required under the Basin Plan to be in effect in Victoria by 1 July 2019. The MDBA has assessed that these measures have been appropriately implemented in Victoria’s state water entitlement and management framework and is confident that arrangements are secure, enduring, fully operable and transparent.

Read more information at the MDBA website.

A copy of the document provided to the MDBA to demonstrate and explain how pre-requisite policy measures have been implemented in Victoria can be read by clicking here (PDF, 2.2 MB) or in an accessible version (DOCX, 8.7 MB).

Page last updated: 16/08/19