Managing the Murray-Darling Basin’s water resources is complex and involves the South Australian, Victorian, New South Wales, Queensland, ACT and Australian governments, as well as other state and basin-wide authorities.

There has been a long history of negotiation and cooperation between the states for more than 100 years.

Working together across borders

The South Australian Government works closely with Australian and basin state governments and authorities to ensure water is shared between the needs of community, industry and the environment across the entire basin.

One of the main ways we are doing this is through implementing the Basin Plan. It guides governments, regional authorities and communities to sustainably manage and use the water. It has a particular focus on ensuring enough water is provided to the environment.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority, an independent agency, is responsible for the Basin Plan as well as basin-wide water resource planning and management.

The Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, signed by all the basin states and Australian government, provides the basis for managing the river system and sets out how water is shared between the states, as well as salinity management measures and inter-state trading rules.

Working together across the state

Agencies from across the South Australian Government work together to manage our state’s limited water resources.

The heads of all relevant agencies regularly attend the State Water Policy Forum to discuss the River Murray and other water issues, and ensure matters are effectively discussed and managed across all of government.

The South Australian Government also regularly meets with Traditional Owners to ensure they are involved in environmental management across the region.

South Australia’s water use from Murray-Darling Basin rivers and groundwater is sustainably managed through the region’s Natural Resources Management Plan and water allocation plans. These plans are developed with input from community, industry and across government.

There are also a wide range of management initiatives and infrastructure projects aimed at restoring river health and supporting regional industries and communities.

Find out more about water planning for South Australia’s water resources.