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Murray-Darling Basin

Briefing paper

Six reasons to stop* floodplain harvesting in NSW

The NSW Select Committee on Floodplain Harvesting is currently considering the future of how overland flow water in the NSW Murray Darling Basin will be managed and regulated. This briefing note highlights six clear reasons why floodplain harvesting should be limited to the legal volumetric...
Report

1200 bridges too far: off-farm water recovery spending in the Murray Darling Basin

This report outlines how money originally allocated to ensure a healthy Murray-Darling Basin is now earmarked to be spent on seemingly unrelated infrastructure in New South Wales. Instead of recovering 450GL promised to the environment in downstream states, this money may now flow to a...
Report

Murray-Darling Basin water markets inquiry: final report

In August 2019, the ACCC was directed to conduct an inquiry into markets for tradeable water rights in the Murray–Darling Basin. This report makes recommendations to enhance markets for tradeable water rights, including their operation, transparency, regulation, competitiveness and efficiency.
Discussion paper

Creative destruction in Australian water markets

In discussions about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, one key reform has been consistently underestimated - separation of water title from land, and its subsequent tradability. This discussion paper notes that governments across the Murray-Darling Basin need to work out what they are aiming for from...
Report

Rivers, the veins of our Country

This report presents case studies from First Nations community members into how Indigenous people are working across the Basin to achieve shared cultural and environmental benefits through the delivery of water for the environment.
Report

Economic effects of water recovery in the Murray–Darling Basin

This publication provides an overview of the economic effects of water recovery on water prices and the irrigation sector in the southern Murray–Darling Basin. The analysis uses economic modelling to separate the effects of water recovery from seasonal variations in rainfall and water supply, along...
Report

Murray–Darling Basin water markets inquiry: interim report

This interim report draws upon analysis of comprehensive water market data from 2012 onwards, and the views of a broad range of people with interests in the use and trade of water in the Murray-Darling Basin. The report considers options to enhance markets for tradable...
Report

Procurement of strategic water entitlements

The objective of the audit was to examine whether strategic water procurements by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment were conducted consistent with government policy, were supported by appropriate program design, were planned and executed appropriately, and achieved value for money.
Journal article

The rebound effect on water extraction from subsidising irrigation infrastructure in Australia

Australia has spent more than $6 billion to reallocate water to environmental purposes. Most of this money has subsidised infrastructure, despite its lack of cost-effectiveness. This article highlights four key lessons on how to respond to these water governance challenges.
Report

Future scenarios for the southern Murray-Darling Basin

This report presents a series of forward looking scenarios for the southern Murray-Darling Basin water market, examining potential future water prices, trade flows and irrigation sector outcomes, taking into account recent and expected trends for water supply and demand.
Discussion paper

Up effluent creek: supply measures in the Yanco Creek system

Some of the Murray Darling Basin’s best managed waterways would be damaged by water infrastructure projects that benefit major corporate irrigators, according to this report.
Report

National Partnership Agreement on Implementing Water Reform in the Murray–Darling Basin: final review

This report documents the final review of the National Partnership Agreement on Implementing Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin (the NPA). Clause 34 of the NPA requires that it be reviewed with regard to progress made by the parties in achieving the agreed outcomes 12...
Report

Murray-Darling Basin water markets: trends and drivers 2002-03 to 2018-19

This report identifies the main changes in water markets in the Murray-Darling Basin over the past 15 to 20 years and explains the main factors driving these changes.
Report

The Basin files

This research report shows that the Murray-Darling Basin's new Inspector General, former AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty, has ignored key issues in his first annual report on the Northern Basin.
Submission

Strategic failure: submission on procurement of strategic water entitlements

The Australian National Audit Office is investigating so-called strategic water purchases in the Murray Darling Basin. The Australia Institute has prepared this submission on the procurement of strategic water entitlements. This submission relates to four “strategic” purchases of water in the Murrumbidgee, Warrego, Condamine-Balonne and...
Report

Review of the water sharing plan for the Barwon-Darling unregulated and alluvial water sources 2012: final report

This report finds that there is clear evidence to indicate that the current water sharing plan rules are resulting in more frequent and longer 'cease to flow' periods. The current cease to flow period of over 11 months Barwon-Darling system is the longest in recorded...
Strategy

NSW Murray and lower Darling surface water resource plan

The purpose of this Plan is to set out how New South Wales will meet its obligations under the Murray–Darling Basin Plan 2012 in the NSW Murray and Lower Darling Surface Water Resource Plan Area.
Technical report

Technical review of the water sharing plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources 2012

This technical report prepared by Prof. Fran Sheldon from Australian Rivers Institute (Griffith University) reviews the ecology, hydrology, and license types of water along the Barwon-Darling.
Draft report

Draft water sharing plan review: Barwon-Darling unregulated and alluvial water sources 2012

This draft report presents the findings and recommendations from New South Wales' Natural Resources Commission’s statutory review of the Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources 2012.
Commentary

The Murray-Darling Basin scandal: economists have seen it coming for decades

Billions of dollars have been spent on infrastructure schemes that have failed to deliver any measurable improvement in water flows or the state of the environment, writes John Quiggin.