The federal government received roughly 250 responses to its first round of voluntary water buybacks.
The offers totalled more than twice as much water as the tender called for, as the government looks to recover 44.3 gigalitres to complete the Bridge the Gap target within the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Offers have been accepted in six catchment areas, including Condamine-Balonne in Queensland, and NSW catchments of Barwon Darling, Border Rivers, Namoi, Lachlan and NSW Murray.
Water Minister Tanya Plibersek said the response was a fantastic signal to governments and communities that voluntary water purchase was a necessary and feasible tool to help meet the targets of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
"What this shows is that there are many willing sellers who are prepared to work with the government to make sure we have enough water to deliver a healthy and sustainable river system," Ms Plibersek said.
"As we look to how we make sure we deliver the 450GL of water for the environment, which we know will have to include some voluntary purchases, this is an encouraging sign.
A government spokesperson said each offer had been carefully reviewed to ensure they stack up environmentally and deliver value for money, and they were now in the process of exchanging contracts.
As the tender process is still underway, further information about the tender outcomes or evaluation cannot be released. But to ensure transparency, once completed the outcomes of the tender will be published by the government on AusTender.
Arrangements are being finalised with the ACT Government to contribute its 4.9GL of surface water in the ACT.
It was revealed in November 2022, that the government would pursue buybacks within the seven catchments that have fall short of their Bridging The Gap target, including Condamine-Balonne (14GL), NSW Murray (10GL), Namoi (9.5GL), NSW Border Rivers (5.1GL), ACT (4.9GL), Barwon-Darling (1.6GL) and Lachlan (0.9GL).
"From day one we've said we're committed to delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full - and that's exactly what we're doing," Ms Plibersek said.
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