The Basin Plan helped cushion the Murray–Darling from the worst drought on record, according to a new review.
The Murray–Darling Basin Authority's "2020 Basin Plan Evaluation" has extensively examined outcomes of the plan since its inception in 2012 and highlights the need for more effort to achieve a healthy basin into the future.
The review has involved the science community, river operators, independent advisors and input from basin governments. It has also drawn on feedback provided by communities, industries, environmental interest groups and First Nations alongside insights from the range of independent reviews that have occurred in the Basin.
Chief Executive of the MDBA, Phillip Glyde said a reform of this kind has not been attempted anywhere else in the world.
"The enormity of the task to bring water take back into balance is unmistakeable, and the progress made in the past eight years is something Basin communities and governments should all be proud of," Mr Glyde said.
"For the first time, we've used our satellite technology and data visualisation, to show timescale impacts of the reform which bring to life the outcomes seen on the ground."
The roll out of the Basin Plan coincided with the worst drought on record, that saw many parts of the northern Basin experience the hottest and driest years on record and lowest inflows on record.
"In the face of climate challenges, we have still seen good progress and outcomes that should be celebrated.
"Limits on water use are now in place, and 13 water resource plans are in place for Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
The evaluation identifies six priority areas for focus and has made 12 recommendations for action, to keep the Basin healthy and resilient.
To find out more visit www.mdba.gov.au/bpevaluation2020
Photo of Murray River in Renmark SA by Feral Arts, WikiCommons