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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"Water Management within the Australian Murray–Darling Basin - The largest integrated catchments management program in the world"

Australia is the world's driest inhabited continent with very limited quantities of water. The Murray-Darling Basin is one of Australia's largest drainage divisions, covering 14% of its landmass. The three largest rivers form together with their tributaries and important groundwater systems the countries largest and most developed river system. Water management in the Basin is of national importance as 3 million people rely on the Basin's water resources and as it is Australia's most important agricultural region.

Section 1 of this paper gives a short introduction to the Murray{Darling Basin, outlining its national importance. Section 2 steps deeper into the matter of the Basin concering its history, basin facts, rivers and their environment and elds of water use. The major task of this work forms Section 3. The overall regulation of the River Murray System with regard to the management of storages, regulatory structures, water transfer schemes and hydroelectric power stations is discussed here. An overview of the impacts corresponding to river regulation is presented in Section 4, yielding to a summary in Section 5 with some theses on what needs to be changed to make the overall system more environmentally and economically sustainable.