Assessment of river flows in the Murray-Darling Basin: Observed versus expected flows under the Basin Plan 2012-2019

The Commonwealth Government has spent $6.7 billion recovering water under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to increase river flows and improve the health of the Basin’s ecosystems. This report provides a valley-by-valley assessment of whether the 2,100 GL of water recovered so far has resulted in expected river flows at key sites given the climatic conditions including drought periods.

Since 2012, 20% of the water expected each year under the Basin Plan did not flow past these sites (320 GL/y on average). While some sites received the expected flows, most sites including those upstream of Ramsar wetlands of international importance did not.

Basin Governments need to investigate and fix shortfalls in river flows so the Basin Plan provides the expected water for ecosystems, communities and industries that rely on healthy flowing rivers.



Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists