Open navigation
Topics > River Murray

Basin Plan

A successful Basin Plan will transform the way water is managed in the Murray-Darling Basin and result in better outcomes for industries, Aboriginal Nations, communities and environments that depend on a health and resilient river system. 

Implementation of the plan will provide many benefits, including supporting the delivery of critical human water needs, facilitating water trade, securing the quality of our River Murray water supply, helping to keep the Murray Mouth open, and providing environmental water to precious River Murray wetlands and floodplains.  

The challenge now is to ensure that the Basin Plan is implemented on time and in full so all of its objectives are realised. 


Towards a healthy, working River Murray

The South Australian Government is working hard to make sure the Basin Plan is implemented on time and in full.

Progress against the five key outcomes for Murray-Darling Basin environments and communities outlined in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan: South Australian Implementation Strategy 2013-2019 is on track.

Download the 2016-17 Progress Update.

Some key highlights are provided below:

Basin wide, 2,083.3 GL of water has been recovered or contracted for recovery.  This includes 143.9 GL in SA. 

Basin-wide, over 74 per cent of the Basin Plan benchmark target of 2,750 GL has been recovered (or is under contract to be recovered). 

South Australia has a state water recovery target under the Basin Plan. Over three-quarters of the target has been recovered (or is under contract to be recovered). The remaining water will be recovered through a combination of water recovery projects and projects that offset water recovery and adjust sustainable diversion limits. 

You can get the latest water recovery data here.

996 GL of water provided to our high-priority environmental sites in 2016-17 

In 2016-17, over 996 gigalitres of water was delivered to South Australian wetlands and floodplains to help maintain a healthy river and water two of Australia’s most important internationally recognised wetlands – the Coorong. Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth and the Chowilla Floodplain.

Positive ecological response in 2016-17 for vegetation, fish, waterbirds, and frogs 

Multiple ecological outcomes were achieved through the delivery of environmental water in 2016-17, including improvements in vegetation condition, waterbird breeding, and numbers of endangered fish at some sites.

Investment in infrastructure and efficiency measures benefiting SA agriculture 

The South Australian Government is working to deliver water recovery while also supporting regional communities. The $240 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Irrigation Industry Improvement Programme is supporting business improvement and irrigation efficiency.

Salinity remained at acceptable levels in 2016-17 

The Basin Plan sets out a series of targets to manage salinity to ensure that the Basin's water is suitable for drinking, agricultural, recreational and environmental purposes. South Australia’s River Murray salinity management program ensured that salinity remained at acceptable levels in 2016-17. 

Click here to view form.