In 2020 the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Water engaged Alluvium to develop a framework and supporting tool to prioritise and guide water sharing plan MER activity, effort and timing.

The framework’s purpose was to guide the level of MER effort across NSW surface- and ground-water water sharing plans, and to be used in the revision of the current approach to water sharing plan objective setting, ensuring the objectives in each water sharing plan were appropriate with the level of risk effort intended.

As outputs for the projects, Alluvium were to:

1.Collaboratively develop a set of prioritisation criteria and determine the interrelationships and relative importance of each

2.Propose and develop a framework that prioritises all 59 active NSW surface and groundwater water sharing plans based on the agreed criteria

3.Develop, trial and deliver a tool that operationalises the framework to be used into the future by DPIE Water.

The project scope was broad and detailed, and included specific requirements for inclusion in the framework, such as prioritisation approach, criteria, metrics, and assessment processes, as well as address the limitations of the current MER Framework, such as the inclusion of social, indigenous and ecological data relevant to WSP objectives, implementation, impacts, benefits, risk and context.