The Water Act

The Murray­–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) was established through Commonwealth legislation — the Water Act 2007. The legislation transferred the powers and functions of the Murray–Darling Basin Commission to the MDBA. We are now the body responsible for overseeing water resource planning in the Basin.

The Water Act commenced on 3 September 2007 and was amended by the Water Amendment Act 2008 (Cwlth) on 8 December 2008, following the March 2008 Memorandum of Understanding on Murray–Darling Basin Reform and the July 2008 Intergovernmental Agreement on Murray–Darling Basin Reform.

In addition to establishing the MDBA the Water Act also: 

The Murray–Darling Basin Agreement

The text of the Murray–Darling Basin Agreement appears at Schedule 1 of the Water Act.

The purpose of the Agreement is to:

"promote and co-ordinate effective planning and management for the equitable, efficient and sustainable use of the water and other natural resources of the Murray–Darling Basin, including by implementing arrangements agreed between the Contracting Governments to give effect to the Basin Plan, the Water Act and state water entitlements".

The Agreement is amended from time to time by the Ministerial Council, ensuring it meets current needs. For example, Schedules G and H were added in 2011 to address problems identified during the millennium drought.