Over 100 of the nation’s top water managers and scientists are set to meet in Canberra in a bid to develop a new vision of how we can better measure outcomes from water initiatives from across Australia.


The meeting will specifically address the recently finalised Murray-Darling Basin Plan.


Associate Professor Michael Stewardson from the University of Melbourne School of Engineering said a coordinated effort across government agencies and with the private sector was needed to monitor impacts of the Basin Plan in terms of environmental, social and economic outcomes. 


“This is a complex task requiring innovation in the way we gather, integrate and share information on the water system along with the goods and services it provides,” Associate Professor Stewardson said.


“It isn’t enough to take lots of measurements and prepare reports on how we are tracking in delivering on Basin Plan targets. We need to get this intelligence to the people who are making decisions. This includes decisions made by irrigation farmers and environmental water managers.”


The national forum, led by the University of Melbourne and involving researchers and industry, will address:


  • The need to coordinate what is monitored and the sharing of collected data 
  • Development of sound monitoring design so we can compare outcomes in different rivers and wetlands across Australia
  • Governance partnering and leadership in monitoring waterways and the need for a more consistent voice in relation to monitoring environmental water outcomes in particular.