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About us

With the enactment of the Water Act 2007, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) was established as an independent expertise-based statutory agency.

For the first time in the Basin's history, one Basin-wide institution is responsible for planning the Basin's water resources, with all planning decisions made in the interest of the Basin as a whole.

Our most important work is to:

  • prepare, implement and review an integrated plan for the sustainable use of the Basin's water resources
  • operate the River Murray system and efficiently deliver water to users on behalf of partner governments
  • measure, monitor and record the quality and quantity of the Basin's water resources
  • supporting, encourage and conduct research and investigations about the Basin's water resources and dependent ecosystems
  • advise the Australian Government Minister for Water Resources on the accreditation of state water resource plans
  • provide water rights information to facilitate water trading across the Basin
  • engage and educate the Australian community about the Basin's water resources.

Our current governance arrangements were preceded by almost a century of different forms and levels of collaborative management with Basin states — in the first instance New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and more recently joined by Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

The sustainable management of the Murray–Darling Basin river system is a collective endeavour of the Australian and Basin state governments, with river dependent industries and communities.

Basin Plan implementation

The Basin Plan aims to ensure the water resources of the Basin are shared between all water users in a sustainable way. It is about striking a balance and maintaining a healthy and productive system to sustainably support   industries and  communities.

River Murray operations

We are responsible for directing the sharing of the River Murray's water on behalf of the Basin states. The Murray–Darling Agreement, (a schedule of the Water Act 2007) spells out these arrangements.

Under the Agreement, we operate the River Murray system and oversee asset management (Dartmouth and Hume Dam, Lake Victoria, Lower Lake barrages, weirs and locks) with our state partners.

Updated: 30 Aug 2021