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Water Resource Plans: what they are and how they are developed

Our role in helping the Basin States develop water resource plans

Water resource plans are a central component of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan 2012. They specify how water will be shared and managed within a specified area.

The Basin Plan defines 36 water resource plan areas that cover either surface water or groundwater resources, or a combination of the two. Each of these water resource plan areas will have their own dedicated water resource plan.

Water resource plans will incorporate existing water planning and management undertaken by Basin states, as well as be consistent with Basin Plan requirements.

Resources have been developed to assist in the development of water resource plans by the Basin states. These include:

  • water resource plan assessment framework
  • the regulatory approach statement
  • guidelines
  • handbook for practitioners
  • position statements

These documents are a guide only and intended to provide advice and support to the Basin States in relation to the implementation of Chapter 10 of the Basin Plan.

When the Basin states have finished developing water resource plans, these plans are submitted to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority for assessment prior to submission to the Commonwealth Minister for a decision regarding accreditation of the plan.



Water Resource Planning reference documents
Water Resource Plans (Part 14 guidelines)

Guidelines for meeting Basin Plan (Chapter 10) requirements in relation to Aboriginal peoples' objectives and outcomes for water

Approaches to achieve sustainable groundwater management

An independent report prepared for the Murray-Darling Basin Authority on approaches to achieve sustainable use and management of groundwater resources in the Murray-Darling Basin using rules and resource condition limits.

Position Statements
1A - Incorporation of Basin Plan amendments
6B - consistency with planning for environmental watering
6C - enabling environmental watering between connected water resources
6D - groundwater planned and held environmental water
Published: 29 Aug 2017  •   Policies and guidelines