The Murray-Darling Basin Balanced Water Fund has provided investors with a 13% return since inception in December 2015[i]. However this Fund is about more than just providing strong financial returns – it also facilitates wetland rejuvenation. The Fund achieves this by donating water each year to be used for the sole purpose of inundating scientifically selected vulnerable wetlands. The Fund is unique in delivering this dual financial and environmental impact.
The 2021-21 water year has been the biggest environmental impact year to date. The Fund has provided over 1,500ML for wetland watering and the Fund’s watering partner, the Murray-Darling Wetlands Working Group (MDWWG) have been able to leverage an additional 1,240ML from state and federal agencies. Between spring and autumn watering events, this environmental water is helping inundate ten separate wetlands spread right across the southern Murray-Darling Basin.
Next year will see an even bigger impact with the Fund planning to donate an estimated 3,800ML to the MDWWG for an ambitious wetland watering program. The larger the Fund grows, the more water it is obliged to donate with the volume donated each year also dependent upon the annual water storage supply and availability levels.
The Fund also partners with the global environmental conservation group The Nature Conservancy to ensure appropriate scientific rigor is applied to the selection and implementation of the water programs.
Some of the wetland benefits recorded to date as a result of the Fund’s contribution include:
- Over 200 hectares of wetlands directly inundated with an estimated area of 4,600 hectares affected for improved biodiversity outcomes
- Supporting 14 threatened species including:
- The Southern Bell Frog
- The locally extinct Murray Hardyhead fish specie in south-western NSW
- The Regent Parrot, Eastern Great Egret and the White-bellied Sea-Eagle
- Two significant migratory species, the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and the Common Greenshank, both of which are listed under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Each year the remaining Fund water is used to provide irrigators with low capital solutions to help manage their water supply risks. This is another unique feature of the fund – providing benefits to both irrigators and the environment from the same water portfolio.
Unless you are a landowner where a wetland is located, it is very difficult to find a pathway to make a meaningful contribution to helping support threatened wetlands. Investing in the Murray-Darling Basin Balanced Water Fund makes this possible with the Fund providing regular updates on wetland impact progress.
For more information about our funds contact our investment team.
[i] As at 30 April 2021.