Murray–Darling Water and Environment Research Program

View of the river with Red gums on the bank

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is a federal government agency. As announced on 10 April 2022 there will be a federal election held on 21 May 2022. Until the election results are determined, the MDBA will be posting less content to this platform. All comments to this platform need to adhere to the MDBA moderation guidelines. Content that does not meet these guidelines will be removed.


The Murray–Darling Water and Environment Research Program is a 4-year, $20 million Australian Government initiative to strengthen scientific knowledge of the Murray–Darling Basin through generating new knowledge, innovation and tools across the themes of:

Commonwealth partners (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, and Murray–Darling Basin Authority) will collaborate with a research consortium to deliver research that will benefit the Basin and its communities for years to come.

The overarching MD–WERP Research Consortium comprises two consortia:

  • CSIRO have established a consortium with Deakin University, eWater and Alluvium to deliver research on the 2 themes of climate change and hydrology.
  • La Trobe University established a consortium with Griffith University, Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations, Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations and IDEEA Group. They are delivering research on environmental outcomes, and social, economic and cultural outcomes.

In 2021 researchers, water policy and water managers, along with First Nations, co-designed the research program to help ensure the research meets the needs of the end users.

MD-WERP also assists the Australian Government in addressing Basin Plan objectives and responding to emerging issues by investing in short-term, tactical projects.

Any enquiries can be sent to MDWERP@mdba.gov.au.

Find out more

Find out more information in the Document Library.

The Research Prospectus provides the program overview, context for the four themes and the research questions, which have been further refined during the co-design process.

Subscribe to the project page up in the righthand corner, and we'll provide you with updates.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is a federal government agency. As announced on 10 April 2022 there will be a federal election held on 21 May 2022. Until the election results are determined, the MDBA will be posting less content to this platform. All comments to this platform need to adhere to the MDBA moderation guidelines. Content that does not meet these guidelines will be removed.


The Murray–Darling Water and Environment Research Program is a 4-year, $20 million Australian Government initiative to strengthen scientific knowledge of the Murray–Darling Basin through generating new knowledge, innovation and tools across the themes of:

Commonwealth partners (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, and Murray–Darling Basin Authority) will collaborate with a research consortium to deliver research that will benefit the Basin and its communities for years to come.

The overarching MD–WERP Research Consortium comprises two consortia:

  • CSIRO have established a consortium with Deakin University, eWater and Alluvium to deliver research on the 2 themes of climate change and hydrology.
  • La Trobe University established a consortium with Griffith University, Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations, Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations and IDEEA Group. They are delivering research on environmental outcomes, and social, economic and cultural outcomes.

In 2021 researchers, water policy and water managers, along with First Nations, co-designed the research program to help ensure the research meets the needs of the end users.

MD-WERP also assists the Australian Government in addressing Basin Plan objectives and responding to emerging issues by investing in short-term, tactical projects.

Any enquiries can be sent to MDWERP@mdba.gov.au.

Find out more

Find out more information in the Document Library.

The Research Prospectus provides the program overview, context for the four themes and the research questions, which have been further refined during the co-design process.

Subscribe to the project page up in the righthand corner, and we'll provide you with updates.

  • MD-WERP newsletter #2 released

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    We've released our second MD-WERP newsletter. Find out what's been happening across the program over the past 3 months.

    To read the newsletter visit the Document Library.

  • Annual Progress Report released

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    The Murray–Darling Water and Environmental Research Program has released its report outlining the progress made during 2020-21.

    The year’s achievements were foundational in collaboratively building a research program funded to 2025 that will strengthen the evidence base for water and environment management decision to improve outcomes for the Basin and its communities.

    The report highlights key outcomes achieved by the program across the year.

    Download the Annual Progress Report 2020-21 from the Document Library.

  • MD-WERP Newsletter #1

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    At the end of last year we released our first MD-WERP newsletter. It gives a great overview of the huge amount of achievements made in the program during 2021.

    To read the newsletter visit the Document Library.

  • Research plans update

    After months of co-design, the draft research plans for the four themes were submitted to the Governing Panel in early June. Most of the plans are now being finalised by the Commonwealth to confirm the priorities for 2021-22. This means research can begin for some projects this month.

    Some of the research projects are still under development, including research focused on improving the cultural, economic and social outcomes for First Nations people.

    The research plans have been shared and discussed with a broad range of users during development. The plans will also be reviewed annually, and ongoing co-design will ensure the research will deliver the expected outcomes and benefits for the Murray–Darling Basin.

  • Co-design update

    Commonwealth partners and the Murray-Darling Water and Environment Research Consortium are working collaboratively through a co-design process to identify the research focus for the four themes. End-User Advisory Groups have been established to provide advice from an end-user perspective on the research focus and its application within water management and policy.

    The program is engaging with the Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences (ACSEES), representatives from our Commonwealth partners and state jurisdictions and other stakeholders to help to ensure that we deliver research that will result in impact.


  • Inception workshop held

    The first inception workshop was held on 24-26th February.

    Over 50 participants from Commonwealth partners and Murray-Darling Water and Environment Research Consortium attended virtual workshops to develop a shared understanding of the vision, purpose and the expected outcomes of the strategic research program, including the research priorities.

    Both the Commonwealth and the Consortium presented their views on the research priorities and possible approaches for the four Theme areas.

    The workshop was a great start to commencing our 4-year collaboration.


Page last updated: 05 May 2022, 02:18 PM