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Assessing the effectiveness of water management initiatives in the Murray–Darling Basin is vital. Understanding how water is used ensures this precious resource is available for our industries and communities, as well our rivers, lakes and wetlands—both now and into the future.

Monitoring, evaluating and reporting are critical to ensuring the way water is managed works and is on track.

Key facts

The Murray–Darling Basin is complex, diverse and constantly changing in response to the climate and human activities.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts rainfall will decrease with climate change. Variability is also predicted, with declines less certain in the northern Basin.

Projections suggest an increase in drought frequency and severity. At the same time heavy rainfall is expected to increase.
CSIRO warns that outflows at the River Murray mouth in South Australia are likely to be influenced by climate change by 2030.

Less rainfall will affect the storage of water and increase demand from irrigators and communities.

Monitoring, new science and evaluation are at the core of adaptive management in the Murray–Darling Basin.


The success of water management in the Basin depends on understanding what is working well and areas that need improvement.

All aspects of water management are regularly monitored and reviewed, including:

  • water use
  • the planning and delivery of water for the environment
  • water quality, including salinity
  • compliance with water laws
  • impacts on Basin communities and industries
  • river operations
  • the design and development of projects to assist sustainable water use.

The monitoring and evaluation of these areas of water management in the Basin allow us to adapt our water management practices. This ensures that outcomes are met in the most efficient and effective way. We use local information from communities, industry experts and partner governments to foster a culture of seeking new knowledge and learning by doing.

Monitoring statement

As part of our broader Basin monitoring and reporting initiative, we’ve developed a monitoring statement to summarise the data sets we use and our monitoring obligations.

Updated: 12 Dec 2022