The first tranche of the Australian Government's Queensland Upper Condamine Alluvium groundwater buyback has recovered almost 16 gigalitres towards the 40.4 gigalitre target, to 31 May.
Head of Water Division at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Paul Morris, said the Condamine Alluvium groundwater buyback is a key component of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“The Basin Plan requires groundwater in the Queensland Upper Condamine Alluvium to be managed at a lower, more sustainable level,” Mr Morris said.
“These purchases bring the total groundwater recovered to 18.65 gigalitres (in long term average annual yield terms), or almost half the target for the Queensland Upper Condamine Alluvium.
“With two tranches of the tender process left to go, we are well on our way to achieving the groundwater Sustainable Diversion Limits in the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.
“Buying these licences and retaining the water in the aquifer is an important step towards long‑term sustainability for groundwater irrigators in the region.
“This is the only groundwater recovery required as part of the Basin Plan and it is separate from the 2750 gigalitre surface water recovery target.
“The current tender is open for the purchase of licences for the: Central Condamine Alluvium Groundwater Management Area, Dalrymple Creek Alluvium Groundwater Management Area and Oakey Creek Groundwater Management Area.
“I encourage eligible water entitlement holders to participate in the remaining tranches to ensure long-term sustainability targets are achieved.”
Tranche two of the tender process closes today (28 June 2018). This will be immediately followed by the final tranche, which will close on 31 July 2018.
For more information on the Queensland Upper Condamine Alluvium groundwater tender visit the department website.