Skip to main content
Go to search page


The governance arrangements covering the water resources of the Basin have been developed to meet changing economic, environmental and societal needs of the Basin communities.

The MDBA reports to the Commonwealth Minister responsible for water. The MDBA's governance comprises the:

  • Commonwealth Minister responsible for water 
  • six member Murray–Darling Basin Authority
  • Ministerial Council
  • Basin Officials Committee
  • Basin Community Committee.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority is made up of the six member Authority, including the Chief Executive, and Authority staff located in Canberra, Adelaide, Albury-Wodonga, Toowoomba and other regions in the Basin.

The Murray–Darling Basin is managed through a partnership between the Australian Government and the governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (the Basin states).

Who does what in managing Basin water resources 

There are a number of key government agencies and advisory committees involved in implementing the Basin Plan. 

These agencies and committees assist with:

  • environmental watering
  • recovering water
  • compliance
  • the sustainable diversion limit adjustment process
  • water resource plans
  • water markets and trading rules
  • River Murray operations and joint programs. 



Governance of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority

The current governance arrangements are set out in the Water Act 2007 which establishes a Commonwealth-State cooperative arrangement for the management of Basin water resources operating under Commonwealth law. The governance arrangements are summarised in the diagram below.