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Source: Murray Darling Basin Authority

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation has drawn from a wide range of sources.

This includes:

  • river operators
  • the science community
  • independent advisors
  • various reviews, which included significant community, First Nations and other stakeholder input
  • the Australian Government and Basin state and territory governments.

The MDBA has also built in several independent check points to validate results and ensure that the Evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of implementation progress and outcomes at the Basin scale. The Evaluation has examined and published available environmental, social and economic research to provide practical actions to guide our journey of continuous improvement.

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2020 Basin Plan Evaluation — reports and snapshots

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation Report

The Basin Plan Evaluation is an opportunity to assess Basin Plan implementation and identify areas for improvement. The report presents the Evaluation findings and recommendations on the effectiveness of the Basin Plan and how it can be improved in order to protect social, economic, First Nations cultural and environmental values across the Murray–Darling Basin.

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation – snapshots

The Basin Plan Evaluation is an opportunity to assess Basin Plan implementation and identify areas for improvement. The MDBA has summarised the overall report and a number of themes within the report:

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation – Southern Basin evidence report

This report describes the contribution of key Basin Plan activities to changes in the river’s environmental conditions in the southern Basin. The report includes analysis of flow, native fish communities, riparian vegetation and water quality.

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation – Northern Basin evidence report

This report describes the contribution of key Basin Plan activities to changes in the river’s environmental conditions in the northern Basin. The report includes analysis of flow, native fish communities and riparian vegetation.

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation – End of system evidence report

This report describes the contribution of key Basin Plan activities to changes in the condition of Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray mouth since implementation of the Basin Plan. The report includes analysis of flow, water quality, vegetation, native fish communities and waterbirds.

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation – River connections evidence report

This report describes the contribution of key Basin Plan activities to changes in the condition of the Basin’s floodplains and wetlands since implementation of the Basin Plan. The report includes analysis of flow, vegetation, native fish communities and waterbirds. 

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation – Social, economic and cultural evidence report

This report details the contribution of key Basin Plan activities to changes in conditions related to agriculture and economy, community adaption resilience, water markets and trade and First Nations.

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation – Plan implementation evidence report

This report describes progress in implementation of key Basin Plan activities and supporting functions. The implementation activities include water resource planning, First Nations engagement, reviews and adjustments, water quality and salinity management, environmental water management and water trade. The supporting functions are governance and monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation – Hydrological analysis evidence report

This report documents the hydrological analysis undertaken for the 2020 Evaluation by Murray–Darling Basin Authority. The purpose of the report is twofold. Firstly, to provide a sufficient level of detail for suitably knowledgeable and informed stakeholders to comprehensively understand the details of the analysis, and secondly to document procedures to inform the direction of future hydrological analysis.

Trends and historical conditions in the Murray–Darling Basin

This report describes the climatic and hydrological trends in the Murray–Darling Basin over recent years. Since the late 1990s rainfall and stream flow has decreased, especially during the winter/spring months in the Southern Basin. The report was commissioned by the MDBA and completed by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Plausible hydroclimate futures for the Murray–Darling Basin

This report describes model scenarios that track the range of anticipated future climates that could be experienced across the Basin. This report from CSIRO also describes the flow changes that could also occur. Climate change will continue to result in hotter temperatures, and reduced flow across most of the Basin is the most likely outcome.

Vulnerabilities to climate change in the Murray–Darling Basin

This report describes the social, environmental, cultural and economic vulnerabilities across the Basin in relation to the future climate. With hotter temperatures (and likely less streamflow) the impacts of climate change across the Basin are expected to be wide-ranging.

The Murray–Darling Basin Tree Stand Condition Tool Hindcast Report

The Stand Condition Tool (SCT) is a process by which a combination satellite data, field surveys and machine learning algorithms are applied to infer the condition of stands of key tree species across the entire Murray–Darling Basin. The MDBA has run the SCT on the 30 years of available Landsat imagery (a Hindcast).

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2020 Basin Plan Evaluation — data

2020 Basin Plan Evaluation scientific datasets

All scientific datasets used to inform the findings, recommendations and commitments of the 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation have been published as part of the MDBA’s open access policy. Most of these sets have been published on the secure site: data.gov.au.

In addition to publishing the datasets, the MDBA has, for the first time, made use of the data visualisation tools Story Maps and Power BI. These tools interpret selected datasets so it is more accessible to the public. Power BI has been used to create dashboards interpreting the data related to:

2020 Basin Plan Evaluation story maps

Story maps have been created to make information more accessible including for:

Updated: 15 Dec 2020  •   MDBA reports

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