Articles on Murray Darling

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An Aboriginal flag planted on the riverbed in front of the last stagnant pools of water that are now the Darling River at Wilcannia. John Janson-Moore

Friday essay: death on the Darling, colonialism’s final encounter with the Barkandji

For the Barkandji people, the crisis on the Barwon-Darling represents the biggest threat to their continued survival on country since the sheep invaded.
The Murrumbidgee River is one of several sites in the Murray-Darling Basin where improvements are being detected. CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

It will take decades, but the Murray Darling Basin Plan is delivering environmental improvements

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.
Despite billions spent on trying to save water in the Murray Darling Basin, results have been disappointing. John Williams

The Murray Darling Basin Plan is not delivering – there’s no more time to waste

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

‘Tax returns for water’: satellite-audited statements can save the Murray-Darling

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

Is the Murray-Darling Basin Plan broken?

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.
Turtle hatchlings could be released into the Murray River to manage the sudden influx of dead carp. Ricky Spencer

Millions of rotting fish: turtles and crays can save us from Carpageddon

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. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Turnbull is happy to horse trade if it gets the nags over the line

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: a complex river system with a complex set of regulations to match. AAP Image/Caroline Duncan Photography

Giving water policy to the Nationals could trigger a logjam of bureaucracy

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.
Go with the flow: scarce water has allowed Outback species to persist for millennia, where otherwise they might have died out. Jenny Davis

Australia needs a plan to protect the Outback’s precious water

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.

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