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The Murray–Darling Basin is the largest and most complex river system in Australia. It runs from Queensland, through New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia, spanning 77,000 kilometres of rivers, many of which are connected.

Towns and rural communities across the Basin rely on a healthy river system—our economy, food security and wellbeing depend on it, now and into the future.

Key facts

More than 2.6 million Australians call the Murray–Darling Basin home

Over 3 million people have access to fresh, clean drinking water from the Basin

The Basin is the food bowl of the nation—the agriculture industry is worth $24 billion annually

The Basin is unique, providing diverse habitats for 120 waterbird species and 46 native fish species

The Basin is rich in culture—it has been home to more than 40 Aboriginal nations for thousands of years

The Basin provides the perfect balance between work and play—fishing employs 10,000 people across the Basin

Australians love to visit the Basin—tourism is worth $8 billion a year to Basin communities

Farming runs through all regions with 9,200 irrigated agriculture businesses across the Basin

The Basin connects us to the rest of the world—there are 30,000 wetlands across the Basin and 16 are internationally significant

Regional Australia is the nation’s playground—our rivers, lakes and wetlands are visited by many for recreation