Topics > River Murray > Improving river health

Water quality and salinity

River Murray water is used for irrigation and other industries, water supply for Adelaide and many regional towns and recreation. It also supports internationally important wetlands and floodplains and is central to the beliefs and traditions of its Traditional Owners.

Good quality water is critical to support all of these things.

There are many issues that affect water quality in the river, wetlands and floodplains, particularly during dry times. These include:

The Murray Mouth is the only place that salt and other pollutants can be flushed from the entire Murray-Darling river system and out to sea. Managing the river to maintain flows through the Goolwa Barrages and Murray Mouth is an important factor in maintaining water quality.

The Basin Plan includes a water quality and salinity management plan with water quality targets for managing flows, salinity targets for long-term planning and management, and an objective to export salt through the Murray Mouth.

Basin governments have also renewed their joint commitment to manage salinity through a new strategy, Basin Salinity Management 2030.

Water quality and environmental monitoring is carried out to ensure decisions can be made to maintain good quality water in the River Murray and its wetlands and floodplains for all users.

With predictions indicating conditions will become drier across the entire Murray-Darling Basin in the future, it is important to reduce the amount of water taken from the entire river system and prepare for a changing climate to maintain good water quality.

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