Canberra, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- August 29, 2008 - A project to develop a decision support system for the real time management of water use in the Condamine-Balonne catchment in northeastern Australia has been launched.

The 3-year project will include real time metering, monitoring and modelling in order to help water users to better manage extractions and environmental flows in this critically important river system.

The project will provide a reporting tool to help water users in the region comply with the water extraction policies set by the Queensland and New South Wales governments.

It will improve the management of available water resources for irrigators and the environment, as well as improving the transparency of water use and decision making.

By allowing entitlement information to be crosschecked with water use information, real time data will also assist with the enforcement of water extraction policies.

The Condamine-Balonne catchment is an unregulated catchment that waters cotton crops in Queensland's southwest. Its overland flows are critical to graziers over the border in New South Wales, and it supports thousands of small wetlands including the internationally recognized Narran Lakes.

The project, with a total value of Aus$1.842 million (US$1.6 million), is being co-funded by Australia’s National Water Commission and the national research organization, the CSIRO. The Queensland government will contribute operational and technical assistance and expertise.