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Barmah–Millewa Feasibility Study

The River Murray is an important source of water. The capacity of the River Murray across the Barmah–Millewa reach has reduced due to sedimentation. This challenges our ability to deliver water to water users and communities when it is needed.

Due to the importance of the Barmah–Millewa reach, a major project is underway to investigate and assess the feasibility of options to maintain, and where possible, reinstate the capacity of the River Murray.   This project is called the Barmah-Millewa Feasibility Study and it is a directive of the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council.

The Barmah–Millewa Feasibility Study aims to identify options to improve the movement and efficiency of water delivery through the Barmah–Millewa Reach whilst protecting the health and cultural integrity of the river.

The options being assessed include:

  • a River Works Program to stabilise banks and reduce local degradation
  • ways to address sedimentation and reduction of river capacity
  • optimisation of use of Tar-Ru – Lake Victoria for water storage and delivery
  • optimising use of the Murray Irrigation Limited system
  • options for delivery through Victoria's existing or new infrastructure
  • Murray releases from the Snowy-Hydro to the Murrumbidgee.

As an important area for First Nations and a Ramsar listed wetland, particular focus and consideration is being given to environmental or cultural needs.

The project is working closely with First Nations, communities, river operators, environmental groups, water industry representatives and state governments to ensure the selection of the most appropriate options to maximise the benefits for everyone.

In addition to this study, another project investigating why developers have chosen to grow permanent horticulture downstream of the Barmah–Millewa reach has been undertaken. These changes in land use can affect the timing and destination of water delivery.

The Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council has endorsed the below Barmah–Millewa Feasibility Study project plan. A preliminary scoping report was endorsed by the Basins Officials Committee in July 2022 and linked below. A business case is due September 2022 with the final project report due by 16 December 2022.


Barmah–Millewa Feasibility Study July 2022 project update
Barmah–Millewa Feasibility Study preliminary scoping report
Barmah–Millewa Feasibility Study project plan