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Paul v. Goulburn Murray Water Corporation & Others (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, 2010)

Jurisdiction: Australia

Side A: Mr John Paul (Individual)

Side B: Goulburn Murray Water Corporation (Corporation)

Core objectives: Challenge to a water license on the basis that the allocation was unsustainable, particularly with regard to future climate change impacts on water levels

This case concerned a challenge to a decision by a local water authority, the Goulburn Murray Water Corporation, in Victoria, Australia, to issue two licenses under the Water Act 1989 (Vic) allowing the extraction of groundwater for use in irrigation on farms. The two permits at issue allowed the extraction of 490 and 594 ML (megaliters) per year respectively. Mr. Paul challenged the licenses on the grounds that the use of water would be unsustainable, particularly in light of the projected impacts of climate change and associated water shortages. While the Tribunal noted that there was some uncertainty about the impacts of climate change, and that uncertainty may lead to the application of the precautionary principle, it found that on the technical evidence before it that the water use would be sustainable taking into account the range of estimates for the impact of climate change on water levels in the region.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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