The Basin Plan went through several stages of drafting and community consultation, with the final draft of the plan released for public consultation August 2012.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority was responsible for developing the plan to ensure the entire Murray-Darling river system is managed sustainably into the future, in accordance with the Water Act 2007.

Initially, the Basin Plan proposed that a long term annual average of 2750 gigalitres of water be returned for the health of the river.

South Australia’s position that the proposed 2750 gigalitres was not enough water to secure the long-term health of the river system and that at least an additional 450 gigalitres was needed, along with actions to address constraints on the delivery of water for the environment.

The Australian Government subsequently committed to:

  • returning an additional 450 gigalitres of water to the River Murray, making a total 3200 gigalitres
  • providing more funding for river communities and environmental works.

This commitment was further recognised in the final Basin Plan which was adopted on 22 November 2012.

Further information on the steps in the development of the Basin Plan are available from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

More information about South Australia's responses and reports on the development of the Basin Plan including reviews of the science is provided below.

Final Basin Plan - 3200 GL water recovery scenario

Draft Basin Plan - 2750 GL water recovery scenario

Guide to the proposed Basin Plan