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River Murray water quality

To help keep the water from the River Murray System suitable for drinking, agriculture, the environment, and recreation, the MDBA has launched a study to better understand water quality trends.

Published: 12 August 2021

On behalf of Basin state governments, the MDBA commissioned La Trobe University to analyse water quality data from 28 monitoring sites along the River Murray and lower Darling.

This data has been collected by Basin states since 1978 and is routinely assessed to detect sudden changes in water quality that could indicate a source of pollution or emerging problems.

The difference of this study compared to routine water quality checks is that it will focus on analysing data to detect longer term trends that impact water quality, which was last analysed in detail by the CSIRO in 2013.

The physical and chemical data available for this study is extensive and will provide an in-depth insight into water quality parameters like temperature, salinity and nutrients and look at how they’re changing over time.

This will help shed light on what drives a range of water quality issues and highlight emerging risks and watchpoints in the river system.

It was essential when developing this study that the MDBA worked closely with Basin governments to ensure this study would benefit all governments involved. All findings from this study will be provided to Basin states to assist them with their shared responsibility for managing water quality for all River Murray communities.

Analysis on the water quality data has started and findings are expected to be available in mid-2022.

Read more about the River Murray Water Quality Monitoring Program.

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