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Water Trust Alliance to strengthen role of community

Six key Non-Government Organisations have formed the Water Trust Alliance to strengthen the role of community in reviving wetlands and rivers on a national scale and to bring the non-government arm of water management to the attention of the Federal and State Governments.

This first-of-its kind, the national alliance represents a broad community from the bush to the cities, and from South Australia to Queensland, including the Murray Darling Basin. It includes the Australian Conservation Foundation, Murray Darling Association, Murray Darling Wetlands Limited, Nature Foundation of SA, Healthy Rivers Australia, and the Environmental Water Trust established by Nature Conservation Council NSW.

“With our combined experience in water management and community involvement, the Alliance will help achieve effective environmental outcomes by bringing local knowledge to government decision making on environmental water purchase and delivery. It will develop community-led initiatives for reviving wetlands in key areas,” said Howard Jones, Chair of Murray Darling Wetlands Limited.

The Water Trust Alliance will act as a national-level peak body for local water trusts, co-ordinating the latest information and best practices in water trust models, water entitlements as well as trust acquisition and management. By developing strategic connections with governments, landowners, businesses and community groups across a wide-region, the Alliance will enable Water Trusts to deliver effective environmental water management.

A recent report by the Productivity Commission had recommended an increased role for the community in owning and managing initiatives to revive threatened Wetlands of the Murray-Darling.

“The community based non-government sector can work with governments as well as the private sector. In fact, by bringing local knowledge and community ownership to the management of environmental water it adds more value,” Howard Jones added.