Managing water

Renmark, on the banks of the River Murray, South Australia. Photo by Michael Bell.


The MBDA aims to manage the sustainable use of the Basin's water resources in a manner that protects the environment, its communities and the industries that depend on it. We take a Basin-wide, collaborative approach to managing water in the Murray–Darling system.

Our role is to provide leadership and collaborate with agencies and communities, facilitate engagement between regions and encourage consideration of the integrated and connected nature of the Basin's river systems, when making management decisions.

On a larger scale, dam operations and water distribution along the major Murray and Darling River tributaries and irrigation structures is undertaken by state agencies and water authorities, with exact arrangements varying between the 5 Basin states and territories.

Latest news

You feel feverish… a headache arrives… then a runny nose and all of sudden you’ve got the flu. This is what happened to the River Murray and surrounding areas this year, only it wasn’t the flu — it was blue-green algae.

Salinity is a natural feature of the basin. It refers to the concentration of dissolved salts in water or soil and comes from ancient ocean sediments, the weathering of rocks and rainfall over millions of years.

The Murray-Darling basin has a highly variable climate and hydrological conditions often differ each year and across regions.  Planning for this wet and dry is a major challenge for river operators, water resource managers and th