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Privacy Collection Notice for Geospatial satellite images

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has a broad range of functions under the Water Act 2007 (Cth) and Basin Plan 2012.

These relate to the sustainable and integrated management of the water resources of the Murray–Darling Basin (the Basin), spanning:

  • measurement, monitoring and recording of water quality and quantity, and the condition of water-dependant ecosystems within the Basin;
  • supporting, encouraging and conducting research;
  • developing measures associated with the equitable, efficient and sustainable use of Basin water resources;
  • information sharing, engagement and education; and
  • compliance and enforcement aspects of the MDBA’s function

It is important that the MDBA can assess the impacts that Basin Plan implementation, water reform and water use are having on the landscape.

Collecting geospatial satellite images which show the flow of water through the landscape and the extraction, use or application of those resources is central to effectively monitoring of the quality and quantity of Basin water resources. Large tracts of the Murray–Darling Basin are difficult to access, are remote, ungauged and unmonitored. The use of satellite imagery provides an accessible, consistent and robust method to support this analysis in an area as large as the Basin, which spans more than a million km2.

Collecting data which supports the MDBA’s understanding of the landscape, using information contained in the data, and permitting a more meaningful analysis are both equally important to this task.

Collection of geospatial satellite images

It is against this backdrop that the MDBA collects, uses and discloses satellite images of the Basin landscape. The effective and appropriate use of science and this kind of technology is vital to the ability of the MDBA to communicate how the Basin Plan is being implemented.

This information is readily accessible and publicly available. It is usually obtained from publicly available sources including from Geoscience Australia. Geoscience Australia collects the satellite images from the U.S. Geological Survey and the European Space Agency.

The images will display features in the landscape and in some cases property details, including buildings and infrastructure. 

The spatial resolution of these images is 10 M which means that features smaller than 10 by 10 M will be not be identifiable. For this reason it will not be possible to identify individuals in the images.

Collection of related data

The MDBA will also collect, use and disclose information which supports the analysis and interpretation of these geospatial images.  This may include:

  • gauge and flow data acquired from a range of publicly accessible state, territory and Commonwealth sources;
  • land titles and property information; and
  • other topographic and map content.

Purpose of collection

The MDBA collects the geospatial satellite images and related data to support its Water Act functions, extending to:

  • measurement, monitoring and recording of water quality and quantity, and the condition of water-dependant ecosystems within the Basin;
  • tracking water flows in the Basin to monitor and understand general landscape change across the Basin through time, to understand both the Basin’s ecological and hydrological behaviour to evaluate the effectiveness of the Basin Plan and the impact of water management policy on the landscape in real terms.
  • developing measures associated with the equitable, efficient and sustainable use of Basin water resources;
  • information sharing, engagement and education; and
  • compliance and enforcement aspects of the MDBA’s functions.

Disclosure of geospatial satellite images and related information through publication

The MDBA may disclose the geospatial satellite images and related data via the MDBA website or standalone publications for the following purposes:

  • communicating efforts to move water flow to targeted areas along the river;
  • engagement and education; and
  • serving as a deterrent for people who either do not have a licence to extract water or who draw on the water in a way that is inconsistent with the conditions of a licence they do hold.

Disclosure of geospatial satellite images and related information

As well as being publicly available (including to overseas parties) this information may be provided to third parties for the purpose of implementing the Basin Plan and to perform MDBA functions.  These third parties may include:

  • Australian federal and state government agencies;
  • land management groups;
  • water management groups;
  • universities and other educational institutions;
  • non-Australian Government agencies, and
  • private individuals and stakeholder or other community groups.

Use of geospatial satellite images and related information

Use of this information is consistent with the purpose outlined above. This information will be applied to support key MDBA programs and activities revolving around:

  • tracking of Commonwealth environmental flow events and in stream flows;
  • environmental monitoring and evaluation;
  • operations improvement;
  • constraints management support;
  • annual watering priorities;
  • Basin-Wide Watering Strategy;
  • Basin Plan Evaluation;
  • SDL compliance and reconciliation; and
  • compliance activities.

More about the MDBA’s Privacy Policy

The MDBA’s Privacy Policy explains the way in which the MDBA engages with and treats personal information. This policy includes information about how you may access or correct your personal information where it is held by us. It also contains information on how you can complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how the MDBA will deal with such a complaint.

A copy of the Privacy Policy can be found at www.mdba.gov.au/privacy or by requesting a copy from the MDBA via email at privacy@mdba.gov.au

You can also contact the Privacy Officer on (02) 6279 0100.

Updated: 21 Apr 2020