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Values of the Basin

From rugged mountain ranges, through sun-kissed plains, to the ancient lakes and connection to the sea. Healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands are essential for Australia’s future generations. The Murray–Darling Basin is the largest and most complex river system in Australia – it is worth saving.

Australia needs a healthy Murray–Darling Basin. Our economy and communities depend on it. Home to many of Australia’s unique plants and animals, and supporting Australia’s largest agricultural sector. Its diversity is its strength.

Carl Binning, Executive Director, Environmental Management

The value of the Murray–Darling Basin.

Healthy rivers, healthy economy.

More than 2.3 million Australians call the Murray–Darling Basin home.

The Basin produces $22 billion worth of food and fibre every year, feeding the nation and the world.

$11 billion tourism dollars are spent in the Basin annually, creating priceless memories for many families.

The Basin supports 7,300 irrigated agriculture businesses. It truly is the food bowl of our nation.

Healthy rivers, healthy people.

Healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands are crucial to communities across the Murray–Darling Basin.

Towns and rural communities rely on a healthy river system.

Water is essential for our spiritual and cultural wellbeing – the Basin is home to more than 40 of Australia’s Aboriginal nations.

Australians are drawn to their rivers and lakes for recreational and social activities, and to connect to the land and water around them.

Healthy rivers, healthy Australia.

Our rivers and lakes support a unique Australian habitat, critical to more than 120 waterbird species, more than 50 native fish species, and 16 internationally-recognised and protected wetlands.

Many Australian plants and animals rely on the Murray–Darling Basin for their survival.

The Murray–Darling Basin crosses four states and one territory, spanning 77,000 kms of rivers, many of which are connected.

From Roma to Dubbo, to Mildura to Murray Bridge – the Darling and Murray Rivers flow through our nation.

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Updated: 21 Apr 2022