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.
Low flows in the Murray River in recent years have harmed tiny marine plants called phytoplankton, with consequences for local marine species and management.
Tempers have flared once again over the long-term plan to return water to the Murray-Darling River and improve its health.
Toxic algal blooms were unheard of in Australia's major waterways before 1991. Now the Murray River has been struck by four major events in less than a decade, with more likely in the future.