Water for Indi is a community group who wants to support informed evidence-based decision making about water issues affecting the electorate of Indi. We aim to increase our region’s understanding of water-related issues by sharing information and encouraging informed discussion and debate.
Many of us hold strong beliefs,views and opinions about water. Water for Indi aim to present the key facts about water resources so that people can have a more informed discussion about water in Indi within the context of the Murray-Darling Basin. Water for Indi are actively building a network of informed people in the field who are happy to contribute, advise and guide our understanding of water issues across the electorate.
Water for Indi actions are underpinned by the following principles:
- Water across Indi is finite, variable and impacted by climate change.
- Sustainability of water for Indi includes valuing water’s economic, environmental, social and cultural uses.
- Water allocation and use requires an evidence base with accountability and transparency.
How important are the water resources in Indi to the Murray-Darling Basin?
The Indi electorate is the link between the mountains and the plains, which is crucial to the Murray-Darling Basin from a hydrological and ecological perspective. The region has some of the healthiest rivers and wetlands in Victoria, and significant groundwater reserves which are an important component of the system.
The catchments of Indi include the Victorian side of the Murray catchment, along with the Mitta Mitta, Kiewa, Ovens, King, Broken and Goulburn river catchments. The rivers and streams in these catchments supply about 50% of the surface water to the whole Murray-Darling Basin.
As well as some smaller dams, Indi contains the Murray-Darling Basin’s largest water storages of Dartmouth and Hume dams, and Lake Eildon. These storages account for 63% of storage capacity in the southern Basin, and 45% of total storage for the whole Murray-Darling Basin.
There is insufficient water to maintain both current agricultural systems and sustain a healthy environment across the Murray-Darling Basin. Historically, water diversions for agriculture have exceeded 50% of annual surface water availability, and in extremely dry years this can be a much higher proportion. Climate change has put even more pressure on the system. Water flows over the past 20 years are about half that of the previous century.
Local knowledge to assist local action
With these issues in mind, Water for Indi wants to help build water literacy across communities by providing resources to explain the current situation from the available evidence base. We have worked to identify key issues, developed a substantial water literacy document, along with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and short briefing papers on “hot topics” in the region, for example specific Local Government Areas or catchments within the electorate. As issues of importance are raised within the electorate, Water for Indi will work with local people to address more “hot topics” and FAQs.
Water for Indi is a way people across the electorate can learn more about water. It is built on the example set by Voices for Indi sharing the desire to improve democratic participation, and in this case to improve community knowledge and engagement about water. We want to hear from people with concerns about water, and assist in building an understanding using data and evidence to inform sustainable water options in Indi.