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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 4 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:

  • Strategic research: Collaboration between Commonwealth partners and the Murray–Darling Water and Environment Research Consortium to co-design and deliver applied research.
  • Practical information for water managers: Synthesis and communication products that summarise existing science for water managers.
  • Tactical 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 to 6 month timeframes.

In December 2020, Commonwealth partners announced that 2 consortia, led by both CSIRO and La Trobe University, have been selected through a tender process to deliver the strategic research component of the program. The consortia have formed the Murray–Darling Water and Environment Research Consortium and bring $7 million of their own resources and numerous multi-disciplinary collaborators, significantly extending the reach of the program.

Updated: 30 Mar 2021