Managing and protecting environmental water: lessons from the Gwydir for ecologically sustainable water management in the Murray Darling Basin

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This article considers one example of the environmental water regimes negotiated as part of Water Sharing plans under the New South Wales Water Management Act 2000. The Gwydir Regulated River. The early implementation of the Gwydir environmental flow rules highlights the importance of building an accountable, appropriately skilled and well-resourced management framework for environmental water. It also provides a chance to assess the extent and effectiveness of the legal protection offered to environmental water under the New South Wales legislation as it plays out on the ground. Without a strong framework for implementation, the value of an environmental water regime, even if it is of appropriate magnitude and character, will be undermined. The lessons learnt to date in New South Wales can inform current and ongoing discussion about achieving sustainable water management in the Murray Darling Basin in the context of increasing water scarcity under climate change scenarios, and the expansion of federal government involvement in environmental water management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-153
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • water law

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