World Water Day & the MDBA

Scientists working at more than 30 research institutions are contributing every day to improving the delivery of the Basin Plan, that’s the message from the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) for World Water Day.

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MDBA Chief Executive, Phillip Glyde says one of the keys to Basin Plan success was making sure the best available knowledge and information was being used to constantly monitor, evaluate and improve Basin Plan outcomes.

“All parties need to work together to secure a sustainable future for the Murray–Darling Basin and the communities and industries that rely on it.”

“The Basin Plan is a long-term policy and was not expected or intended to deliver all of its results immediately. What it gives us is an adaptive framework that is underpinned by evidence and science.”

“Last year’s evaluation of the first five years of Basin Plan implementation showed that it’s working — we are seeing the early signs of environmental improvement. But restoring the health of the Basin will take many years, and that’s why the MDBA has a long run commitment to investments in research and knowledge.”

The CEWH, Jody Swirepik, says significant ecological benefits from Commonwealth environmental water were starting to be seen.

“In the past year we’ve seen the largest Murray cod spawning event in 20 years.

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We’ve also seen the first recorded pelican breeding at Nimmie-Caira, we’ve improved protection of threatened species such as the southern bell frog and the Murray hardyhead fish through better wetland and river health and we’ve seen important aquatic vegetation recover to levels not seen since before the millennium drought to support fish and birds.”

“Having access to the best available monitoring, evaluation and research is critical for the management of the Commonwealth’s water holdings and will continue to be so into the future.

“For example, our Long-Term Intervention Monitoring Project and the Environmental Water Knowledge and Research project are a combined $40 million investment in our scientific capability and knowledge.”

“It brings together more than 30 research bodies including some of Australia’s leading regional universities, scientific research institutions and state agencies so we can have every confidence that we measure the effect we’re achieving through each event.

Ms Swirepik says its’s important that everyone continues to collaborate so that the best minds and those with the greatest expertise can contribute to ensuring a visionary policy delivers its intended results.

The MDBA’s Evaluation of the Basin Plan is available on the website.