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Basin salinity management

Salinity remains a management challenge and represents an ongoing environmental, social and economic risk.

Victoria’s thriving agriculture sector can impact the salinity levels and water quality in neighbouring areas and on downstream communities.

In partnership with Victoria’s water corporations and catchment management authorities, we are investing in salinity management and monitoring the level of salt to protect the rivers, catchments and environment of the Murray-Darling Basin. We continue to support agricultural and regional development throughout the state.

Basin Salinity Management 2030 Strategy

Basin states coordinate salinity management through the Basin Salinity Management 2030 Strategy (BSM2030).

Through the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 we have entrusted the regional management of salinity to the Mallee, Goulburn Broken, North Central, Wimmera and North East Catchment Management Authorities (CMA).

The Catchment Management Authorities regularly review Victoria’s salinity accountability actions, and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources assess delayed salinity impacts throughout Northern Victoria.

The manual

Using BSM2030 and its supporting procedures as reference, Victoria has prepared the Manual for Victoria's Salinity Accountability in the Murray-Darling Basin 2021.

The Manual summarises the processes and procedures Victoria follows to manage salinity accountability. The manual is intended to serve as a guide to assist Victoria’s salinity managers in meeting Victoria’s obligations under Schedule B of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement and other obligations under Victorian legislation, regulations and policy.

Manual for Victoria's salinity accountability in the Murray-Darling Basin

BSM2030 guidance and support

BSM2030 provides guidance and support to local communities and governments within the Murray-Darling Basin to:

  • Ensure salinity levels in the shared water resources of the Murray-Darling river system are managed appropriately to ensure the protection of our environment while observing economic, cultural and social values.
  • Manage salinity in the shared water resources through agreed works and measures introduced by partner governments with their local 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.
  • Optimise the benefits of salinity control for economic, environmental, cultural and social values across the Basin.

Annual reporting

We report to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) every year on progress in implementing BSM2030.

Detailed reports on activities are required every second year (biennially) and are independently audited. In alternate years, Victoria provides a status report to the MDBA.

Page last updated: 23/02/24