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Sustaining Water Use in the Murray Darling Basin
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Sustaining Water Use in the Murray Darling Basin


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  • 1. Case Study: The Murray-Darling Basin
    • Sustaining water use
  • 2. Water Restrictions
    • Governments may impose strict limits on the use of water at various times
    • Restrictions have flexibility of different levels and fines associated with non-compliance
    • South Australia Water Restrictions
    • However, restrictions are difficult to enforce
  • 3. Drip Irrigation and Trickle Tapes
    • Provides water near the base of the plant.
    • Reduces loss of water to evaporation.
    • Requires slower flow of water.
    • Difficult & costly to install in large paddocks
  • 4. Sub-surface irrigation
    • Below the surface watering reduces evaporation
    • Roots of plants / crops get water quicker
    • Very costly to install the larger the area as the surface has to be cleared
  • 5. Water Tanks
    • New homes in South Australia must be built with water tanks
    • Government cash incentives for people to install water tasks
    • Good way of collecting freshwater that otherwise goes to waste
    • Cost is significant to some families
  • 6. Using Greywater
    • Using water that has already had one use.
    • Dependent on people’s commitment and habits
    • Some greywater cannot be used without treatment
  • 7. Garden water savings
    • Grow native drought tolerant vegetation as opposed to exotic species
    • Many think native Australian plants are not as attractive a traditional European garden
  • 8. Home water savings
    • Many different ways to save water in the home
    • Depends on people making the effort to change their ways
  • 9. To sum up...
    • Home use can cut water but this isn’t where most water is used
    • Some saving can be made in agriculture but needs to be enforced. Are we growing the right crops in the Murray-Darling Basin?
    • Significant efforts need to be made in cutting water use in industry.
  • 10. Conclusion
    • Water usage in the Murray-Darling Basin is unsustainable.
    • More water is being taken from the system than is being replaced.
    • Efforts are being made to be more sustainable but each has its disadvantages.
    • Currently, the economic benefit of exploitation outweighs environmental consideration.
  • 11. Essay Question
    • Describe and evaluate the sustainability of freshwater resource usage with reference to a case study.