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Resource Availability Scenarios

One important component to determine the locations and amount of water available for the environment to be delivered each year is the Resource Availability Scenario.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority calculates the water resource availability scenario based on seasonal conditions from previous years (rainfall, runoff and soil moisture) and surface water available in public dams. Whilst not part of the resource availability calculation, we also provide information on the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast to indicate potential conditions for the coming water year.

We use the water resource availability scenario to  describe seasonal conditions across the Murray–Darling Basin on a scale from very dry to very wet.

This scale helps guide water managers in deciding  where water for the environment needs to be provided, where water is likely to be available that provides opportunities for environmental watering and what outcomes can be achieved for the year.

For example, in a dry climate, water for the environment can provide drought refuges – permanent freshwater holes that remain even when the surrounding area is dry , while in wet conditions water for the environment can support waterbird breeding, fish spawning, and new plant growth on floodplains.