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Basin Plan amendments for the northern Basin

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) reviewed the impacts of the Basin Plan in the northern Basin. This review resulted in the MDBA proposing amendments to the Basin Plan. These amendments became law in July 2018.

Key amendments:

  • Water recovery target reduced from 390 gigalitres (GL) to 320 GL
  • Shared reduction reduced from 143 GL to 41 GL
  • Local reduction increased from 247 GL to 279 GL.

The need to review the target was identified in 2012 when the Basin Plan was passed in recognition that knowledge of some northern areas was not as well developed as others.

The 4-year review involved substantial research into social, economic, hydrology and environmental aspects of the northern Basin. It included consultation with communities, including industries and First Nations groups.

The reduction of the water recovery target minimises social and economic impacts in northern Basin communities and delivers almost equivalent environmental outcomes by taking a more targeted approach to water recovery.

As part of the Northern Basin Review, the Australian Government, Queensland and New South Wales governments will be implementing a range of measures aimed to improve water management in the northern Basin.

The MDBA also recommended governments and communities find ways to improve access to waterways for First Nations people and improve engagement in water planning and management.

Key information

Northern Basin snapshot

An overview of the how the amendments impact the northern Basin

View the snapshot

Northern Basin FAQs

Frequently asked questions from the public consultation period.

View the FAQs

Supporting documents

Background information and research

Hydrological modelling

Social and economic research

Environmental science

Legal documents

These documents apply for all proposed change to the Basin Plan.

Updated: 25 Feb 2022