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Australia : The Living Murray meter clicks over 1000 GL.

The Living Murray initiative has reached a historic milestone this month with the 1000th gigalitre of water being delivered to the environment.

The Living Murray was Australia s first joint-government environmental watering program. Set up in 2002, the initiative is funded by the Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Commonwealth governments and coordinated by the Murray Darling Basin Authority.

MDBA chief executive Rhondda Dickson said the aim of The Living Murray was to restore the health of key icon sites along the river.

"This milestone is equivalent to releasing two Sydney Harbours or 400,000 Olympic swimming pools back onto the Basin s floodplains, into the lakes and through its forests," Dr Dickson said.

"The success of the program is due to the Basin governments and the MDBA all contributing to the program and working towards a common goal.

"With the severe drought of the 2000s came broad acknowledgement that we needed to work together to sustain these natural ecosystems, which underpin so much of our economy and cultural heritage."

Dr Dickson said the experience of the past 11 years has put The Living Murray at the forefront of environmental watering practice. Since the program began, the approach to watering has evolved significantly from the management of small allocations and limited watering at specific sites during the early years of drought, to the recent system-wide waterings that benefit entire regions.

"In recent large-scale waterings, The Living Murray program has also coordinated the delivery of water by our partner agencies in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Commonwealth," Dr Dickson said.

As The Living Murray s 1000th gigalitre reaches across the landscapes and through the creeks and wetlands to support a thriving network of plants and animals the river red gums and blackbox trees, the birds, fish, frogs and myriad other creatures along the Murray River the natural communities are growing stronger and more resilient.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 14, 2013
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