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The river system is important to many people for many different reasons. We work alongside various groups to understand the needs of specific areas of the river, and to monitor the health of the entire Murray–Darling Basin.

Working together

The water-management groups we work with include:

  • site-specific, on-ground river operators
  • environmental water holders
  • traditional owners
  • scientists
  • community and industry groups.

Making the right decisions

Deciding where and when water is released is complex. Science, consultation and local knowledge helps guide decisions.

To manage water well we need to understand the range of concerns, interests and priorities of communities who depend on healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands for work and play.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) works closely with water management and community groups. Research, plans and outcomes are shared and discussed.

Working with community groups

One of our key advisory bodies is the Basin Community Committee. The committee provides local perspectives on water and environmental, cultural and social issues. The members share feedback and concerns from communities across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

We have offices in Adelaide, Canberra, Goondiwindi, Griffith, Mildura, Murray Bridge, Toowoomba and Wodonga and a team of regional engagement officers across the Basin. The Murray–Darling Basin Authority has identified over 1,000 stakeholder groups with an interest in water management activities.

Working with Traditional Owners

Water for the environment keeps our rivers healthy and sustains plants, animals and iconic and sacred landscapes. Healthy rivers and sacred places are important to Aboriginal Nations.

Traditional Owner knowledge is valued and considered when deciding where water for the environment goes.

Indigenous community knowledge, values and perspectives are being progressively integrated into water planning.

Water for the environment and cultural flows can have very different outcomes and often support native species in different ways. It is important to consider these different outcomes when delivering water for the environment.

Working with scientists

We work with experts from many fields, including economics, hydrology, ecology, law and sociology.

Research, results and analysis are peer reviewed for quality assurance. Methodology, data and interpretation of results is shared with Basin Governments, universities, research institutions and specialists in the field.

The Advisory Committee on Social Economic and Environmental Sciences (ACSEES) provides advice on science and knowledge. ACSEES has specialist knowledge and expertise in water governance and sustainable systems.

Our approach

We engage with individuals and organisations based on the following principles.

  • Transparent – purpose and goals are clear
  • Inclusive – consideration of a diverse range of views
  • Adaptive – able to listen and change
  • Accessible – information is easy to find and understand
  • Supportive and respectful – aware that changes impact individuals differently.