Please note: from Wednesday 9 December 2015, this blog will no longer be regularly updated. Visit our news page on our redeveloped website for all the latest news from the MDBA. This blog will be archived in the coming months.
The latest updates from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Social and economic analysis

One of the most important aspects of our work is gaining a comprehensive view of the social make-up and economic activity across the basin. This work has never been done before at a basin-scale and circumstances vary greatly between regions and between different industries.

We’ve spent the past couple of years talking with local people, sitting down with local councils and collaborating with researchers to get a better understanding of the long-term social and economic trends that influence communities. We’re looking at the whole picture of what’s happening and identifying trends over many years, including those which arose well before the Basin Plan. That’s why the foundation work we’re doing now to understand social and economic change is so important.

This analysis will help to shed light on the role water reform might be playing and help us to monitor the effects of the Basin Plan, including local investment in water infrastructure. We will continue to build on this work over time and progress so far is captured in the first Basin Plan Annual Report.

Key links

UC reports on the wellbeing of our farmers

Posted on November 26, 2015 by Sarah - MDBA
Harvesting wine grapes in Mildura, Victoria. Photo by Arthur Mostead.

Harvesting wine grapes in Mildura, Victoria. Photo by Arthur Mostead.

The University of Canberra has released the latest round of results from the 2014 Regional Wellbeing Survey.

The Regional Wellbeing Survey is the only Australian survey entirely focused on changes in rural and regional communities.

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Posted in Communities, General, Social and economic analysis
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The MDBA supports water amendment bill

Posted on August 24, 2015 by Eleanor - MDBA

The MDBA’s chief executive Dr Rhondda Dickson gave this opening statement in her appearance before a federal Senate Committee on 24 August 2015.

The Senate’s environment and communications committee was considering the Water Amendment Bill 2015 which proposes a cap of 1500 gigalitres on federal government water buybacks in the basin.

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Posted in Adjusting sustainable diversion limits (SDLs), General, Social and economic analysis
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New social economic info: population and employment

Posted on August 21, 2015 by Eleanor - MDBA

An important piece of work for the MDBA is to look at the effects of the Basin Plan and other government water reforms on basin communities and industries.

These have undergone significant changes over the past few decades due to a range of economic, climatic and policy changes. Many of these changes are still playing out.

New social economic info is now available at

New social economic info is now available at

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Posted in MDB fact, Social and economic analysis

The latest in social and economic analysis

Posted on July 30, 2015 by Chevelle - MDBA

Industries and communities throughout the MurrayDarling Basin are constantly affected by a range of policy, economic, social and climatic factors. The social and economic monitoring and evaluation of the Basin Plan water reforms will need to consider these multiple drivers of change. Multiple sources of information will be used in this evaluation. Community engagement will be essential for helping to interpret this information. This includes people providing us with their experiences of adapting to the water reforms in the context of the constantly-changing social and economic circumstances.

An infographic which shows the many areas the MDBA is working across in their social and economic evaluation. These areas include community engagement, regional and industry case studies, evaluating the social and economic benefits of environmental flows, Aboriginal partnerships, Northern Basin economic modelling, understanding the effects of water infrastructure investment, examining various trends and drivers, examining the role of water markets and developing economic models for agriculture.

This infographic shows the many areas we are working across in our social and economic analysis – click to view larger image

MDBA will provide an update of information as it becomes available. This will include information describing the general changes in economic and social circumstances of rural communities and more specifically in the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan and NSW Murray regions. Results from the Well Being Survey and analysis of changes in the irrigated agriculture sectors will be added later in the year.

Posted in Social and economic analysis
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