Agricultural activities have the potential to cause salinity and water quality problems in neighbouring and downstream areas. Government, in partnership with water corporations and catchment management authorities, continues to invest in salinity management to protect the rivers, catchments and environment of the Murray-Darling Basin and support agricultural and regional development.

Victoria co-ordinates its efforts to manage salinity with other basin governments through the Basin Salinity Management 2030  Strategy (BSM2030)

Through the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 DELWP has delegated regional management of salinity accountability to the Mallee Goulburn Broken North Central Wimmera and North East Catchment Management Authorities (CMA) The CMAs conduct periodic reviews of Victoria’s salinity accountability actions, while the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources assess delayed salinity impacts in Northern Victoria.

BSM2030 provides guidance to the communities and governments of the Murray-Darling Basin to:

  • Ensure salinity levels in the shared water resources of the Murray-Darling river system are appropriate for the protection of economic, environmental, cultural and social values;
  • Manage salinity in the shared water resources through agreed works and measures implemented by partner governments with their communities;
  • Monitor and assess salinity levels and salt loads across the Basin to identify salinity risks and to support the implementation of cost-effective measures to protect the shared water resources and local assets;
  • Identify salinity risks and, where appropriate, contribute to the maintenance of appropriate salinity levels for the protection of local assets and downstream water resources through water resource plans, land and water management plans or other relevant statutory instruments;
  • Facilitate continuous improvement and provide assurance that flow management that affects the shared water resources is collectively undertaken in ways that have regard to the Basin Plan salinity targets; and
  • Optimise the benefits of salinity control for economic, environmental, cultural and social values across the Basin.

Victoria reports annually to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) on progress in implementing BSM2030. Detailed reports on activities are required biennially and these are independently audited. In alternate years, Victoria provides a status report to the MDBA.