The CSIRO's assessment of the Murray Darling Basin Authority's draft plan backs up what the Australian Greens have been saying all along, by showing water and ecology targets will not be met without greater volumes being allocated to the environment.
"The science was made to fit around the figure of 2,800 GL, which was then cut by another 50 GL in the actual draft plan," Greens' Murray Darling Basin and water spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.
"The CSIRO says it does not know how the 2,800 GL figure was reached. The authority must put all the methodology on the table to convince the public the figure was not simply dredged from the shallows of the fragile river system.
"It's time that the Water Minister accepted that we need a higher return to the river to keep it sustainable.
"The best available peer-reviewed science says at least 4,000GL is needed to flush the 2 million tonnes of salt out and stop the Murray Mouth from closing.
"We need higher volumes of water to be modelled by the Basin Authority, because the CSIRO's report confirms it knows other amounts were modelled but it was not allowed to examine them.
"The plan has to be improved to return more water to the environment. We've got 20 weeks and counting to get it right."