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Water research kicks off

A solid foundation for building Basin science, based on collaboration and co-design, is detailed in the Water and Environment Research Program’s (MD–WERP) first annual report released last week.  
Published: 22 February 2022

Photo of a river red gum in flooded Barmah Lake, Victoria
The Barmah–Millewa Forest is the world's largest river red gum forest, and a vital Murray–Darling Basin ecosystem. Natural flooding, combined with water for the environment, maintain ecosystem health and protect native flora and fauna.

MD–WERP is a $20 million, 4-year Australian Government program which aims to build scientific knowledge by generating new knowledge, innovation and tools across the themes of: 

  • climate adaptation 
  • hydrology 
  • environmental outcomes 
  • social, economic and cultural outcomes. 

The report outlines the progress made during 2020–21 which saw the program attract $7 million of in-kind support over the next 4 years and highlights some of the key outcomes achieved by the program across the year, including: 

  • establishing the MD–WERP Research Consortium between world-leading research institutions - the CSIRO and La Trobe University and their research partners 
  • building a strong foundation in co-design through a workshop attended by more than 60 policy makers and researchers 
  • presenting the direction of the research and seeking feedback from more than 150 Australian Government workshop attendees 
  • co-development of strategic research plans that will direct the research and its outcomes over the next 4 years 
  • establishing advisory groups for each research theme to ensure ongoing collaboration between researchers and the end-user policy makers 
  • completion of a short-term investment into a small suite of climate scenarios, and funding approval for 2 additional tactical projects 
  • establishing strong and coordinated communication and engagement across the program. 

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