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Compliance and enforcement documents


The compliance and enforcement policy

The Compliance and Enforcement Policy outlines the Murray–Darling Basin Authority's (MDBA) approach to compliance and enforcement under the Water Act 2007 (Cwlth) and the Basin Plan 2012 (Cwlth). The Policy explains to the community, businesses, regulated entities and government agencies how and why the MDBA conducts its compliance and enforcement activities.

Compliance priorities 2018–19

The MDBA sets compliance priorities for each water year (July – June) based on a horizon scan and a detailed risk assessment of Basin Plan non-compliance for each of the MDBA's key compliance areas, as set out in the MDBA's Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

Timeline of the Basin Compliance review recommendations
Compliance escalation pathway
Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator
SDL Reporting and Compliance Framework
Basin compliance compact

The Basin Plan Compliance Compact was endorsed at the Council of Australian Government meeting on 12 December 2018. The Compact is an agreed work plan for governments to ensure water rules are complied with and enforced. Read the Basin compliance compact and independent review

Water Information
Water Information Quality Assurance Framework

The Water Information Quality Assurance Framework has been developed in response to Action 1a of the Compliance Review. The Framework draws on relevant standards for the requirements of hydrometric networks and hydrologic models for compliance and enforcement.

Background to the development of guidelines for improved water information to aid Basin Plan compliance

This is an independent report that serves as background to the Water Information Quality Assurance Framework above.

Model improvement program

The MDBA continues to develop and use hydrologic models to inform policy, Basin Plan compliance activities, management and operations of rivers in the Murray–Darling Basin. Through the Murray–Darling Basin Water Compliance Review, the MDBA committed to “publish a model improvement program for its hydrologic models”. The Model Improvement Program outlines components and timeframes for three models used to support Basin Plan implementation: the Source Murray Model, the Integrated Modelling Framework, and Hydrodynamic Models. Read the Model improvement program - MDBA hydrological models.

Explanatory summary for floodplain harvesting practice notes

The MDBA has published, in consultation with the Basin states, four practice notes which include guidance for incorporating and accounting for floodplain harvesting in hydrological models. This document provides a short summary on the development of the practice notes. The practice notes are published on the MDBA’s hydrologic modelling practice notes webpage


 In June 2018 the Australian Government and the Murray–Darling Basin states agreed to the Compliance Compact which describes actions that will strengthen water use compliance by the Basin community. The availability and use of non-urban water meters in the Basin is of particular interest to the water users, the public and governments.

Part three of the Compliance Compact describes actions related to Metering and Measurement. This report is published to meet the requirement of 3.8 of the Compliance Compact:

3.8 The Australian Government and Basin States will work with each other, jurisdictions, testing laboratories, meter manufacturers and industry to set a timetable for delivering a comprehensive range of pattern approved meters.

This revision of the report now includes indicative pattern approved metering requirements for the Basin.

Pattern Approved ‘Non-Urban’ Water Meters

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority has worked with meter manufacturers to compile a list of meters being considered for pattern approval. The National Measurement Institute has provided a list of current pattern approved meters. Together these lists document the most comprehensive compilation of current and potential pattern approved meters.

Published: 20 Dec 2018  •   MDBA reports