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Published: 21 March 2019   •   Media release

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is marking this World Water Day with the first of a breakfast seminar series to promote different views and ideas about water reform in Australia, with the first breakfast hearing how the world is closely watching Australia's leadership on water management.

The first breakfast event in Canberra on Friday will hear first-hand accounts of life as a farmer in the Murray–Darling Basin from avocado farmer Katrina Myers, who said water planning was an increasingly important part of farming life, and updates on river ecology from La Trobe University's Professor Nick Bond.

Fellow speaker Will Fargher, director of water advisory firm Aither, said the Murray–Darling Basin was being watched around the world as other countries grappled with the challenge of responding to water scarcity and drought.

"This is a global challenge, and the rest of the world is looking to us for solutions," Mr Fargher said.

"The Murray-Darling Basin Plan might not be perfect, but Australia has made significant progress and we continue to do a lot of things right.

"Many countries are dealing with the same kind of challenges as we are, and are looking to our experience in the implementation of difficult reforms.

"Australia is recognised as a world leader in responding to water scarcity through its policies and approaches."

Ms Myers said planning how to manage limited water resources was an increasing part of her role as a farmer in Barham in New South Wales, particularly during a drought.

"Farmers in my part of New South Wales are doing it tough due to the dry conditions, with many receiving zero allocations for irrigation this year," Ms Myers said.

"That all makes it more important than ever to keep an eye on emerging conditions and to consider the availability and cost of water and how that will all impact on farm operations."

The MDBA is also marking World Water Day by taking over the Q-Lab at Canberra's Questacon for the week, to explain the importance of the Murray–Darling Basin and the need to keep it healthy.

This year's World Water Day theme was "Leaving no one behind".

MDBA Executive Director of Partnerships Carl Binning said the MDBA was managing the Basin in line with the theme, and in the interests of all Australia and water users.

"The MDBA is committed to improving the sustainability of our rivers and ensuring water is shared fairly for all users, including Indigenous communities, farmers, industries and towns across the Basin, for both current and future generations," Mr Binning said.


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