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Murray-Darling Basin, Australia - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128181522

Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, Volume 1

1st Edition

Its Future Management

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Editors: Barry Hart Neil Byron Nick Bond Carmel Pollino Michael Stewardson
Paperback ISBN: 9780128181522
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 25th September 2020
Page Count: 350
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Table of Contents


  • Introduction to the MDB system
  • Water resources policy and planning in the MDB including recent water reforms

The System

  • Hydrology and regulation
  • Land use - irrigated and dryland agriculture – what is grown and how is this changing
  • Water-based assets - rivers, wetlands, floodplain forests, groundwater, lower lakes and Coorong
  • Ecology - fish, vegetation, birds, etc
  • Social systems


  • Water resources, catchments and natural resources
  • Environmental water
  • The Lower Lakes and Coorong
  • Indigenous involvement in water management
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Future challenges

  • Climate change
  • Integrated MDB system management


  • Final summary chapter


Murray-Darling River System, Australia clearly links the catchment with the estuary, including such topics as the recent major water reforms in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB); the MDB system (hydrology, water-related ecological assets, land use and social systems); management within the MDB (catchments and natural resources, water resources, irrigation water, environmental water, and monitoring and evaluation); future challenges; and finally, a synthesis chapter that summarized the main points made in the book.

Murray-Darling River System, Australia sets the context for these recent changes, discusses the development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (Basin Plan), details the biophysical and social components of the MDB, then focuses on what is currently happening with the management of water (environmental and irrigation), land (catchments, agriculture), and finally addresses several of the looming challenges for the management of this system, including what policy and management changes need to be made for the entire system to be managed as an integrated whole. This is a much-needed text for water resources managers, water, catchment, estuarine and coastal scientists and aquatic ecologists.

Key Features

  • Provides a consolidated account of the Murray-Darling Basin system; an area of huge and global relevance to those interested in rebalancing river systems where the water resources have been over allocated
  • Offers detailed analysis of the current management of the system, with a focus on water and ecosystem management
  • Identifies and discusses of a number of key challenges still facing those responsible for continuing to consolidate the water reforms and expanding to include management of the Basin as an integrated whole (from catchment to estuary)


Water and natural resource managers; Academics; Water, catchment, estuarine and coastal policy experts; Irrigation companies, Environmental water managers, International water policy and management personnel


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2021
25th September 2020
Paperback ISBN:

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About the Editors

Barry Hart

Professor Barry Hart is Director of the environmental consulting company Water Science Pty Ltd. He is also Emeritus Professor at Monash University, where previously he was Director of the Water Studies Centre. Prof Hart has established an international reputation in the fields of ecological risk assessment, environmental flow decision-making, water quality and catchment management and environmental chemistry. He is well known for his sustained efforts in developing knowledge-based decision making processes in natural resource management in Australia and south-east Asia. Prof Hart is currently a board member of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and a non-executive Director of Alluvium Consulting Australia Pty Ltd. He is also Deputy Chair of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Onshore Unconventional Reservoirs in the Northern Territory, which commenced in December 2016.He has received several awards, including the Limnology Medal (1982) from the Australian Society for Limnology, the Environmental Chemistry Medal (1996) and Applied Chemistry Medal (1998) from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, a Centenary Medal for services to water quality management and environmental protection (2003) and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2012.

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor Monash University; Member, Murray-Darling Basin Authority; Director, Water Science Pty Ltd, Australia

Neil Byron

Dr Neil Byron was the Commissioner responsible for environment, agriculture and natural resource management issues in the Productivity Commission from April 1998 to March 2010. He presided over twenty-six public inquiries and directed the PC's environmental economics program. Since 2008, he has been an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Economics at the ANU then at the University of Canberra. In 2014/15 he chaired an independent review of Biodiversity Legislation in NSW which led to the drafting of a new Biodiversity Conservation Act. Neil is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. From 2008 to 2011 he was a non-executive Director of a plantation forestry company in New Zealand and has been a Director of Earthwatch Institute Australia since 2010.

Affiliations and Expertise

Monash University, Australia

Nick Bond

Prof Nick Bond’s primary interests are in the effects of flow variability on riverine ecosystems, especially the landscape scale effects of floods and droughts. His research combines empirical field studies with innovative quantitative modelling approaches. He has extensive experience working on river management and environmental flow issues in Australia and internationally, and has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and numerous peer reviewed technical reports. His research focus is supported by active engagement with regional, national, and international water and natural resource management agencies to support evidence-based planning and decision making.

Affiliations and Expertise

Freshwater Research Centre, Australia

Carmel Pollino

Dr Carmel Pollino is a Principal Research Scientist at Land and Water, CSIRO. She has 20 years of experience working on water issues in Australia and throughout Asia. Carmel has a PhD in environmental science and a Masters in environmental law. She works across the science and policy interface, leading significant areas of research in Environmental Flows, Hydrology, Ecology and Integrated River Basin Planning. Carmel is the lead and also a contributor to global working groups on biodiversity, water and impact planning, and has published widely in these domains.

Affiliations and Expertise

Principal Research Scientist at Land and Water, CSIRO

Michael Stewardson

Over the last 24 years, Prof. Michael Stewardson’s research has focused on interactions between hydrology, geomorphology and ecology in rivers ( This has included physical habitat modelling, flow-ecology science, and innovation in environmental water practice. Michael has participated in Australia’s water reforms through advisory roles at all levels of government. More recently, his research has focused on the physical, chemical and biological processes in streambed sediments and their close interactions in regulating stream ecosystem services. He leads the Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources Group in Infrastructure Engineering at The University of Melbourne (

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia