Murray-Darling salinity control strategy working

17 August 2021

Ongoing efforts to combat salinity levels in the Murray-Darling Basin are paying off for people who rely on improved water quality in the Basin’s rivers and waterways, according to a new report.

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt MP said the Basin salinity target was met for the eleventh consecutive year in 2019-20. 

“The Basin Salinity Management 2030 strategy is delivering on its promise to benefit the communities and industries throughout the Murray-Darling Basin,” Minister Pitt said.

“This is Australia’s longest running plan for natural resource management, and it is succeeding thanks to close collaboration by all Basin governments. 

“Keeping salinity levels down ensures our rivers are able to be sustainably used for irrigation, guaranteeing the jobs to thousands of Australians throughout our river communities. 

“The results show just how effective the salinity mitigation works and measures have been since 1975 when they first began to reduce the high rates of salinity affecting drinking water, crops and the environment. 

“This is a true demonstration of the successful long-term partnership and commitment of the federal, and state and territory governments, along with the effective coordination of Basin-wide salinity management provided by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

“The Murray–Darling Basin produces more than $22 billion worth of food and fibre a year and is home to more than two million people. That means water quality is paramount.

“In the last year, more than 471,000 tonnes of salt were diverted from the river and adjacent landscapes with the use of 14 salt interception schemes. That’s almost half a million tonnes of salt prevented from affecting the quality of our water supply.

“Managing salinity risk remains an ongoing challenge and highlights the importance of ongoing cooperation between the Australian Government and the governments of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.”

Read the full report here.