Articles on Murray Darling

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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.
The Onkaparinga River, part of the catchment that supplies around half of Adelaide’s drinking water. Justin Ratcliff/Flickr

Adelaide is facing a dry future – it needs to start planning now

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. kdliss/Wikimedia Commons

Queensland risks running the well dry by gifting water to coal

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

Why are there no true freshwater protected areas in Australia?

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…
Spending on water-saving infrastructure could expose Murray-Darling farmers to debt and drought. Michelle Bartsch/Flickr

The latest Murray-Darling plan could leave farmers high and dry

The federal government’s approach for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has shifted again, and now favours water-saving infrastructure over purchasing water rights. But is it the right move? The new scheme…
Carp have spread throughout Australia’s waterways - but CSIRO is hoping to bring a new genetic weapon to bear on them. Kletr/Sutterstcok.com

Male-only gene trick could leave invasive fish species floundering

A genetic modification that creates male-only populations could give us a new weapon against invasive fish such as carp that plague our waterways. “Daughterless technology”, which works by removing females…
Selling water back to farmers could work out for the Murray River too. Flickr/Tourism.Victoria

Murray River water sales: better for farmers and the environment

The Commonwealth Government’s decision to sell up to 10 billion litres of its water allocation in the Murray-Darling Basin back to farmers could prove to be a win-win for irrigators and the river. On the…

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