Since 1914, there have been various intergovernmental agreements relating to Murray‑Darling water resources. Widespread degradation of the Murray-Darling basin’s natural resources was apparent in the 1980s. At the time, institutional arrangements for water resources management lay with the five State and Territory governments in the Basin, with little co-ordination. In response to this problem, the Murray-Darling Basin Commission was established in January 1988 under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, with a charter to efficiently manage and equitably distribute River Murray water resources. Secondly it was to protect and improve the water quality of the River Murray and its tributaries and lastly to advise the Murray-Darling Ministerial Council on water, land and environmental management in the Basin.
The Water Amendment Act 2008 was introduced in December 2008 to amend the Water Act 2007. This law transferred authority from the Murray-Darling Basin Commission to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, creating an independent, expert-based body that would manage the Basin holistically for the first time.
As at December 2010, the Authority has produced the following plans and strategies:
- a natural resources management strategy
- a basin sustainability plan
- strategic plans
- project plans for the development of policies and strategies and
- plans for generating and sharing knowledge, including a human dimension programme.
The MDBA also established a water trading scheme across states to increase water use efficiency.
Read more about this topic: Murray-Darling Basin Authority
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