The Murrumbidgee River is one of several sites in the Murray-Darling Basin where improvements are being detected.
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan has been politically fraught and mired in scandal. But environmental monitoring suggests that the health of the rivers is indeed improving – even if it will take decades.
The Darling River near Menindee, NSW.
Tim Keegan/Wikimedia Commons
New South Wales has pledged to walk away from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, while Victoria's water minister has declared the plan 'over'.
Despite billions spent on trying to save water in the Murray Darling Basin, results have been disappointing.
A dozen leading researchers have issued an urgent call to action for the Murray-Darling Basin, arguing that the billions spent on water-efficient irrigation have done little for the rivers' health.
Under the proposal, irrigators would have to submit a statement that tallies with aerial images of their water use.
AAP Image/Cubbie Group
Allegations of water theft have thrown the Murray-Darling Basin Plan into crisis. The solution could involve users declaring their annual water use, subject to random audits - like a tax return.
Irrigation pumps along the Barwon River in New South Wales.
AAP Image/Dean Lewins
The system that allocates water use in Australia's largest river basin relies on a shared commitment by states to uphold the rules. New allegations of water theft threaten to break that trust.
The Murray-Darling Basin is an incredibly complex ecological system.
A recent report argues more water is needed to resurrect the Murray-Darling Basin. But simply increasing river flow alone could actually harm the Basin.
Turtle hatchlings could be released into the Murray River to manage the sudden influx of dead carp.
Millions of dead carp will fill the Murray-Darling Basin after the government releases a targeted virus. Scavengers like turtles and crayfish might help – as long as we protect them.
Malcolm Turnbull likes to portray himself as a pragmatist who wants this parliament to work.
Malcolm Turnbull didn’t actually trade his first-born this week but it felt like it might come to that. In a whatever-it-takes frame of mind, the government conceded a great deal to get its legislation…
The Murray-Darling is a complex freshwater ecosystem.
Murray River wetlands image from www.shutterstock.com
Tempers have flared once again over the long-term plan to return water to the Murray-Darling River and improve its health.
Fixing water pollution on the Great Barrier Reef will take a huge effort.
Reef image from www.shutterstock.com
Efforts to combat water pollution on the Great Barrier Reef aren't working, according to a new government report.
Goldfish might look nice, but they can also spread a variety of decidedly not-nice viruses.
Many pet fish end up in ponds, fountains and waterways. But before ditching your goldfish in the park, stop and think about the viruses you could also be releasing.
Barkindji protest outside Parliament in Canberra.
For the Barkindji people, the Darling River has been a symbol of Aboriginal survival since colonial times. Now, the once busy NSW town of Wilcannia is in danger of losing its water.
Northern rivers could increase Australia’s irrigated land by 50%. But we need to think about the environmental impacts.
It's full steam ahead for bringing vast increases in farming to northern Australia. In fact, probably too fast to adequately consider the environmental impacts.
The Murray River in 2007, at the height of the drought. Hopefully it will be more resilient next time around.
Scott Davis/Wikimedia Commons
As El Nino looms, the Murray-Darling is facing another drought. But after almost a decade of investment in water trading and other policies, its prospects are better this time around.
The Murray-Darling: a complex river system with a complex set of regulations to match.
AAP Image/Caroline Duncan Photography
Water isn't straightforward. And by putting the Nationals in charge of policy for water assets like the Murray-Darling Basin, the government will trigger a complex round of bureaucratic musical chairs.
Soil and water are crucial resources that need to be carefully studied and preserved.
There will be increasing demands placed on our soil and water in coming years, so we need greater research into how to preserve and maintain these precious resources.
Go with the flow: scarce water has allowed Outback species to persist for millennia, where otherwise they might have died out.
The Outback covers 70% of Australia, and its water is precious and scarce. Yet there is no joined-up plan to monitor and manage Outback water, despite the wealth of species and communities that depend on it.
The Onkaparinga River, part of the catchment that supplies around half of Adelaide’s drinking water.
Imagine a future where the yearly flow into one of the largest water reservoirs of a major Australian city could halve within 70 years. This is a scenario that Adelaide could face if the world continues…
Queensland’s cuts to water red tape could leave outback bores high and dry.
On Wednesday, Queensland’s parliament passed water reform legislation that will make it easier to take and use water, particularly for large mining and agriculture projects. The state government also recently…
Australia’s north is home to many pristine rivers, but most national parks are focused on land-based conservation.
Carole Mackinney/Wikimedia Commons
Freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and wetlands are precious. They contain several-times more vertebrate species per unit area than land and ocean environments, and they are more degraded. Protected…