Why the Murray-Darling Basin is so important
- 30,000 wetlands including 16 internationally significant wetlands (Ramsar sites).
- 120 water bird species and 46 native fish species are found in the Basin.
- Home to 95 threatened species of animals and plants including 35 birds, 16 mammals and 5 snakes.
- More than 3 million Australians rely on the Murray-Darling Basin rivers for drinking water, including Canberra and Adelaide.
- Home to more than 40 Aboriginal Nations with deep cultural, social, environmental, spiritual and economic connection to their lands and waters.
- Healthy water resources provide Basin residents with a sense of place, psychological wellbeing and local identity.
- The Basin produces $22 billion worth of food and fibre every year.
- Irrigated agriculture has been maintained at around $7 billion annually even with recovery of water for the environment.
- Spending on tourism in the Basin is now worth around $7.5 billion per year, with Australians making 17 million visits annually for recreation.
- Recreational fishing is estimated to be worth around $1 billion each year, generating more than 10,000 jobs.