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Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project Logic and Rationale Document

Report prepared for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office by The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre, 2013

Executive Summary

The role of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) is to manage Commonwealth environmental water to protect or restore the environmental assets of the Basin, and other areas outside the Basin where the Commonwealth holds water.

The Water Act 2007 (Cth) requires the CEWH to perform its functions and exercise its powers consistently with and in a manner that gives effect to the Water Act 2007 - Basin Plan 2012, and specifically, that Commonwealth environmental water is managed in accordance with the Basin Plan's environmental watering plan. As part of this requirement, the Basin Plan places a number of obligations on the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH), including principles of monitoring and evaluation and reporting requirements.

Long Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) is a key element of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) response to the requirements of the Water Act and Basin Plan. It aims to support improved decision making through the application of the principles of adaptive management, good governance and reporting. Monitoring and evaluation are critical steps in the management of Commonwealth environmental water; supporting the efficient and effective use of Commonwealth environmental water within the planning framework and demonstrating the achievement of environmental objectives. It will achieve this objective by measuring environmental responses to watering activities in selected areas as part of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement Framework (MERI Framework) for Commonwealth environmental watering in the Basin.

This document describes the scope, high level design and monitoring priorities for the LTIM Project. The indicators and detailed monitoring design for long term intervention monitoring won't be finalised until the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for each area is completed in 2013-14. At that time, the approach set out here will be subject to a range of practical and cost considerations that may narrow or broaden the scope of monitoring that may be undertaken under this project.