Since 2009, the Authority has undertaken an extensive program of research, including 22 commissioned studies, into the social and economic implications of the draft Basin Plan. The Authority also took account of the findings of a significant number of reports which, while not commissioned by it, were material to its social and economic analysis.
A synthesis of this body of work titled Socioeconomic Analysis and the Draft Basin Plan was released on 28 November 2011 along with the draft Basin plan. This document can be downloaded via the link below.
Socio-economic context for the Murray–Darling Basin
(ABS, ABARE, BRS 2009)
A report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and the Bureau of Rural Sciences that presents a range of social and economic data on the Basin, drawing mainly from the 2001 and 2006 censuses of population and housing, and also from other sources.
Download PDF [19.7 MB]
Structural adjustment pressures in the irrigated agriculture sector in the Murray–Darling Basin.
FRONTIER ECONOMICS (2010)
Helps frame analysis of social and economic impacts, by describing a conceptual framework for structural adjustment in the Basin, and identifying the drivers of structural adjustment in the context of irrigated agriculture.
Download PDF [2.2 MB]
Review of social and economic studies in the Murray–Darling Basin
BDA GROUP 2010
Reviews and summarises social and economic studies relevant to the Basin Plan that had been undertaken until that time.
Download PDF [795 KB]
Assessment of the benefits of the Basin Plan for recreational boating industries
MARSDEN JACOB ASSOCIATES (2012)
This study aimed to assess the benefits of the Basin Plan to recreational boating in the Basin.
Click here for report
Benefits of the Basin Plan for the fishing industries in the Murray–Darling Basin
DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS (2012)
This study aimed to estimate the economic benefits of the Basin Plan to recreational and inland commercial fishing industries in the Basin.
Click here for report
Assessment of the benefits of the Basin Plan for primary producers on the floodplains of the Murray–Darling Basin
This study estimated the benefits of the Basin Plan for floodplain agricultural producers in three selected regions (Barwon-Darling, Lower Balonne, and Lower Murrumbidgee) and in the northern Basin.
Click here for report
CSIRO (2012) Assessment of the ecological and economic benefits of environmental water in the Murray–Darling Basin.
CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship, Australia.
The MDBA commissioned CSIRO to undertake a Basin-wide assessment of the multiple benefits of the Basin Plan, including hydrological, ecological, social and economic benefits. The report confirms the MDBA's modelling that the sustainable diversion limits set out in the draft Basin Plan are important in halting or reversing the widespread trend of declining health in the ecosystems of the Basin.
Download PDF [15.9 MB]
The potential use of benefit-cost analysis in developing the Basin Plan
FRONTIER ECONOMICS (2011)
Considers how benefit-cost analysis could inform the Basin Plan, and the setting of 'optimal' SDLs which balance environmental benefits with economic costs.
Download PDF [312 KB]
Economic benefits and costs of the proposed Basin Plan: discussion and issues
CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS (CIE 2011)
Explores the potential trade-offs between economic, social and environmental outcomes for each SDL scenario presented in the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan.
Download PDF [846 KB]
Economic valuation of environmental benefits in the Murray–Darling Basin
MORRISON, M. AND D. HATTON MACDONALD (2010)
Summarises and synthesises the findings of previous market and non-market studies of environmental values in the Murray–Darling Basin
Download PDF [377 KB]
Environmentally sustainable diversion limits in the Murray–Darling Basin: socio-economic analysis
Estimates changes in economic indicators in the Basin as a result of diversion reductions of 3,000, 3,500 and 4,000 GL/y, as proposed in the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan.
Download PDF [1.67 MB]
Economic analysis of diversion options for the Murray–Darling Basin Plan: Returns to irrigation under reduced water availability
MALLAWAARACHCHI, T., D. ADAMSON, S. CHAMBERS AND P. SCHROBBACK (2010)
Estimates the likely regional impacts of reductions in water availability for irrigated agricultural production, in the context of water recovery of 3,500 GL/y.
Download PDF [988 KB]
The regional economic impacts of Sustainable Diversion Limits
WITTWER, G. (2010).
Estimates the short, medium and long-term implications, as well as downstream flow-on effects, of the introduction of SDLs across a range of water availability and adjustment scenarios. Modelling is based on the 3,000, 3,500 and 4,000 GL/y reductions in diversions proposed in the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan, and incorporates Water for the Future offsets (buybacks and infrastructure).
Download PDF [321 KB]
Economic analysis of alternative sustainable diversion limits options
Provides additional economic analysis of the impacts of the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan, taking into account changed assumptions about the proportion of the cuts borne by irrigators, and government policies including Water for the Future and the 'bridging the gap' commitment.
Download PDF [1.13 MB]
Modelling the economic effects of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan
This report was commissioned to update the economic modelling to reflect the Authority's consideration of water recovery of 2,800 GL/y. The report consolidates developments and improvements to the modelling that have been made since the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan. The report also considers a range of additional sensitivity analyses of 2,400 GL/y and 3,200 GL/y water recovery scenarios, and a wider breadth of options for consideration of the economic impacts.
Download PDF [4.7 MB]
Water supply variability & sustainable diversion limits: issues to consider in developing the Murray–Darling Basin Plan
ADAMSON, D. QUIGGIN, J. AND QUIGGIN, D. (2011)
Estimates the impact of water recovery of 2,800 GL/y, drawing on the research described in Mallawaarachchi et al. (2010). The report includes analysis of six different scenarios that consider combinations of current diversion limits, SDLs, trade and climate variability.
Download PDF [2.65 MB]
Basin Plan CGE modelling using TERM-H20. Report for the Murray–Darling Basin Authority
WITTWER, G. (2011)
Estimates the impact of a 2,800 GL/y water recovery scenario, and presents sensitivity analyses for 2,400 GL/y and 3,200 GL/y scenarios. The report focuses on the short- and long-term effects on macroeconomic results up until 2029.
Download PDF [347 KB]
Indicators of community vulnerability and adaptive capacity across the Murray–Darling Basin—a focus on irrigation in agriculture
Develops an index which measures community vulnerability to changes in water availability, and uses this index to illustrate the relative vulnerabilities of Basin communities to changes to water availability that might occur under a Basin Plan.
Download PDF [1.17 MB]
The index was updated in 2011 to reflect the water recovery scenarios considered in the November 2011 Draft Basin Plan. The updated outputs to the project are presented in the report Revised indicators of community vulnerability and adaptive capacity across the Murray–Darling Basin—a focus on irrigation in agriculture (ABARES 2012).
Economic and social profiles and impact assessments for the Murray–Darling Basin Plan: synthesis report
MJA, RMCG, EBC CONSULTANTS, DBM CONSULTANTS, ANU, G. MCLEOD AND T. CUMMINS 2010
Assesses the impacts of reductions in diversions on farmers, industry sectors and communities, through analysis of social and economic data, regional consultations, and a survey of approximately 1,300 individuals.
Download PDF [5.2 MB]
Community impacts of the Guide to the proposed Basin Plan
EBC, RMCG, MJA, ECONSEARCH, GEOFF MCLEOD, TIM CUMMINS, GUY ROTH AND DAVID CORNISH 2011
Provides an in-depth understanding of the impacts of the proposals in the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan at the local community level, including consequences for the value chain, supply chain, and social and cultural effects including in relation to mental health and community well-being.
Basin case studies: the socio-economic impacts of sustainable diversion limits and Water for the Future investments. An assessment at a local scale
ARCHE CONSULTING 2011
Assesses the impacts of the Basin Plan and Water for the Future initiative on agricultural production, the irrigation industry and the regional economy at the local government level. The report presents several case studies for selected local government areas, modelled under various scenarios combining SDLs and government initiatives, as well as sensitivity analyses that include interregional trade and the Water for the Future program.
The Arche Consulting (2012) report expands upon the analysis presented in the 2011 Arche report. The KPMG (2012) review indicates the input-output model used to assess the impacts of the proposed Basin Plan at a local community scale is a reasonable approach. KPMG's comments on this approach however indicate that the impact of the Basin Plan reform would be overestimated.
KPMG Review of Arche Method - Final report [PDF 302KB]
Effects of change in water availability on Indigenous people of the Murray–Darling Basin: a scoping study
JACKSON, S., B. MOGGRIDGE AND C. J. ROBINSON 2010
Considers the impacts of the Basin Plan on Indigenous people.
Download PDF [7.67 MB]
Social assessment of the lower Murray: life after less water
SOBELS, J 2011
Describes experiences of communities in the Lower Murray in adapting to loss of irrigation water since 2006 as a result of the drought.
Download PDF [1.34 MB]
Review of the MDBA's Socio-Economic Modelling
The Authority has relied heavily on both internationally and nationally peer-reviewed science in developing the Basin Plan—refer Science and the draft Basin Plan
Similarly, the Authority has been rigorous in using the best available economic and social science to inform its decision making processes.
The Authority requested KPMG to undertake an independent review of its economic modelling to provide assurance that the Authority was using the best available socio-economic science. KPMG reported that:
"the MDBA has brought together an appropriately qualified and experienced set of subject matter experts, and has produced a set of informative studies that serve to provide important insights into particular components of the problem ... This phase of the analysis has benefited from the independence of the three groups of researchers."
Download the KPMG review [PDF 2.1MB]
In addition, many of the Authority's commissioned reports were peer-reviewed. The Authority's social and economic work program has been tested in workshops with Commonwealth and State agencies, academics and expert consultants.