Study Finds Dams in Murray-Darling Basin Having Substantial Impact

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Study Finds Dams in Murray-Darling Basin Having Substantial Impact

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan evidences an example of best-practice cross-jurisdictional water management. However, a recent study has found that reduced flows to the Macquarie Marshes due to damming along the river has reduced the waterbird population by 72 per cent between 1983 and 2014. The study compared the Murray-Darling Basin, which has extensive damming and diversions across the basin, against Lake Eyre that has very minor damming. The result found and extensive decline in the waterbird population around the basin but a stable population around Lake Eyre, concluding that water flow and waterbird population are causally linked. Previous research has found that Government hydrological modelling estimated that annual average flows had been decreased by dams and river regulation by only about a 27%, but research modelling estimates the flow reduction at 43%.

 

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