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Trends in physical and chemical aspects of water quality in the Murray-Darling Basin 1978-2012

The River Murray water quality monitoring program is a monitoring network of 36 sites located on the river and its tributaries, which has been routinely monitoring physico-chemical parameters of water since 1978.

This report examines trends in key physico-chemical water quality parameters over the past 35 years. A series of appendices is also attached.

The report discusses the on-going importance of monitoring above and below Lake Hume, given the potential effect of the reservoir on downstream water quality. In the context of future climate change and other changes (including the Murray–Darling Basin Plan), the importance of this long-term monitoring data is highlighted.

The trend analyses undertaken indicate that the tributaries are playing an important role in influencing the quality of River Murray water, particularly their impact on sites downstream of their confluence with the Murray.