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Articles on Murray Darling

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The Barmah-Milewa forest is an ephemeral landscape of unique biodiversity. Flickr/Parks Victoria.

Unknown wonders: Barmah-Millewa forest

Australia is famous for its natural beauty: the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Kakadu, the Kimberley. But what about the places almost no one goes? We asked ecologists, biologists and wildlife researchers…
The lessons learnt from the Millennium drought may not help us prepare for the next Big Dry. Flickr/thoughtfactory

Australia is not ready for the next big dry

Three years ago in March 2010, southeast Australia was still in the grip of “the big dry” or the “millennium drought” - billed as the worst drought since European settlement. Dams across the Murray-Darling…
The Murray cod is popular amongst fishers, and also critically endangered - at least according to the IUCN. Flickr/guochai

Australian endangered species: Murray Cod

The Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) is the largest native Australian freshwater fish species, and is probably the most iconic. The species’ credentials are impressive: it can live for more than 50 years…
With so many interests vested in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, implementation will remain a challenge. mike (away for a while)/Flickr

Basin Plan is historic but let’s not lose the whole story

Reaching agreement on a Murray-Darling Basin Plan is undoubtedly a significant political accomplishment. The water resources of the Murray-Darling have been the basis of disagreement between states, industries…
To know if the Basin Plan is working, we need to know what results we’re aiming for. savelakebonney/flickr

Watch the water - keeping an eye on the Murray-Darling

Will the Murray-Darling Basin Plan put an end to a century of squabbling? It’s unlikely. There are already those who suggest the water going back to the river isn’t enough, the rivers need more. And of…
The Plan includes the eventual delivery of “up to” 3200 gigalitres of water to the environment. Jeremy Buckimham MLC/Flickr

Finally: Murray-Darling Basin Plan signed into law

Yesterday, Minister for the Environment Tony Burke signed the Murray-Darling Basin Plan into law, after the Murray-Darling Basin Authority had made the final changes he requested. One hurdle remains. The…
Changes to Murray Darling policy are a big win for SA, but NSW and Victoria aren’t impressed. Feral Arts

Murray-Darling: why Australia needs intergovernmental cooperation

On Friday, the Prime Minister announced that the Commonwealth will spend $1.7 billion to increase water return to the Murray-Darling River by a further 450 gigalitres. The announcement is a big win for…
There will always be conflict over how water is used, but we seem to be getting closer to agreement. augustusoz/Flickr

Murray-Darling proposal brings us closer to shared understanding

Sharing water between different groups in society is almost inevitably a very contentious issue. Throughout the world, there are daily conflicts between people about how water can be used; at an individual…
Is layer after layer of regulation the solution to the problems the freshwater life of the Murray-Darling Basin face? Kristian Golding

Micro-managing the Murray-Darling Basin: what’s in it for fish?

This is part two of a series investigating the effect Murray-Darling water policy has on acquatic life. It’s told from the perspective of the new water minister, a Murray Cod called Mac Peelii, who last…
Everyone wants a functioning Murray-Darling Basin, but it makes sense to get there the most cost-effective way. Tim Keegan

Murray-Darling: keeping government out of the bedroom and taxpayers out of farming

A common catchcry used to bemoan any proclivity of the state to reach into individual decision-making is “keep government out of the bedroom”. The equivalent mantra for economists involved in analysing…
Flooding risk is often used as an argument against greater environmental flows for the Murray-Darling, but graziers would benefit greatly from floods. Richard Kingsford

More flooding in the Murray-Darling basin could be good news for farmers

The history of our development of the Murray-Darling Basin is one of constraining and constricting its rivers’ flows. Many of the basin’s floods are now captured in dams for later constrained release to…
Does this guy know something Tony Burke doesn’t? Phil Nicholls

Looking at the Murray Darling through a native fish-eye lens

Let’s imagine for a minute that a Murray cod – let’s call him Mac Peelii - replaced Tony Burke as water minister, responsible for the Murray-Darling Basin. Apart from the obvious issues associated with…
With so many vested interests, opposition to the plan will likely last a long time yet. SA Eco Images Pty Ltd

Resisting the Murray-Darling Basin Plan – in whose interest?

As the final version of the Murray-Darling Plan heads to Parliament there seems little doubt that the debate will continue. The sticking point remains the volume of water to be returned to the environment…
What’s wrong with this picture? Ask the community. Proposed changes to the MDBP were largely regarding limits to the amount of groundwater to be extracted. ECO IMAGES PTY LTD

Is anyone really listening? The Murray Darling and the limits to community consultation

On 28 May 2012 the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) handed down its long awaited revised blueprint to restore health to the Murray Darling Basin. The plan was the result of a 20-week community engagement…
Irrigation infrastructure, buy-backs, environmental flows, agricultural communities: lobbyists will say anything to win the Murray-Darling war of lies. Eco Images Pty Ltd

Lies, dam lies and water plans: the MDB Plan and the states

When the water planning process for the Murray-Darling Basin first commenced, an experienced colleague of mine noted that this was shaping up to be a lying contest between farmers and environmentalists…
Tug of water: the Murray-Darling Basin is fraught with competing interests. AAP/Lukas Coch

Murray-Darling authority’s revised plan: expert reactions

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) today released a revised plan that recommends cutting the volume of groundwater…

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