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Murray–Darling Water and Environment Research Program

Tala Creek in NSW

The Murray–Darling Water and Environment Research Program is an Australian Government initiative to strengthen scientific knowledge of the Murray–Darling Basin. It is designed to help inform water and environment management decisions which will improve outcomes for the Basin and its communities.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority, Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment have identified four priority themes to be the focus of the strategic research component of the Murray–Darling Water and Environment Research Program:

  1. Climate adaptation
  2. Hydrology
  3. Environmental outcomes
  4. Social, economic and cultural outcomes.

​The Program is made possible by the $20 million commitment by the Australian Government to improve Basin Plan outcomes through targeted research. The program will deliver three components:

  • Practical information for water managers: Synthesis and communication products that summarise existing science for water managers.
  • Short and responsive investment: Use of existing science and expertise for urgent high need projects. These projects will be very focused and likely to be completed within short 2–6month timeframes.
  • Strategic research: Collaboration between the Commonwealth and research consortia to co-design and deliver applied research. Research partners will be required to co-invest in the research to be delivered by mid-2024. 

The focus of the strategic research component of the Program will be refined using a co-design approach with the successful research consortia. An open tender closed on 21 August 2020 and tenders from potential research partners are currently being evaluated. It is expected that successful providers will be advised in October 2020.

A Research Prospectus has been developed to inform the direction and priorities of the strategic research component of the Program.

Updated: 29 Oct 2020