The MDBA has announced a significant science investment to shape future Basin water management.

A multi-disciplinary team of experts is partnering with the Australian Government to arm water managers and Murray-Darling communities with better knowledge and tools to guide future best practice in water management.

It is all part of the $20 million Murray-Darling Water and Environment Research Program.

Chair of the panel governing the program, Professor Rob Vertessy,says two groups have been selected following an open tender process – one led by the CSIRO and the other led by La Trobe University.

“Managing the Basin's water resources sustainably is a major challenge and well targeted research is necessary to ensure the best decisions can be made for the Basin's future,” Professor Vertessy says.  

“We have brought together the diverse expertise of scientists, researchers, First Nations groups and private sector specialists to tackle four research themes: climate adaptation, hydrology, environmental outcomes, and social, economic and cultural outcomes.

“The two consortia bring $7 million of their own resources to the table, significantly extending the reach of the program.

“Over the next four years, these multi-disciplinary teams of experts will conduct practical research that will enhance the ability of water agencies like the Murray–Darling Basin Authority and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office to undertake their missions more effectively. 

“The research will involve working with First Nations people on Country, examining how they have managed water sustainably and fairly over tens of thousands of years, spanning cycles of profound environmental change. In learning from them we hope to better prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future.”

The MDBA says a process of scoping the details of the research to be undertaken has commenced and will involve input from researchers, government agencies, industries and communities.