About water in Australia

Changes in rainfall
& water systems

- State by State
- Murray-Darling Basin
- Macquarie River
- Hawkesbury-Nepean
- Other catchments

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Changes in rainfall & water systems

The mouth of the Murray
Murray-Darling Basin

The longest length of river in the Murray-Darling Basin extends some 3,750 kilometres from the source of the Condamine to the mouth of the Murray. The Basin is made up a number of river systems: the Darling River and it's tributaries, the Murrumbidgee River, the Lachlan River and Billabong Creek and their tributaries, and lastly, the Murray river and it's tributaries.

Under expected climate change, the Murray-Darling Basin is likely to experience significantly reduced water availability in southern parts of the Basin due to reductions in winter and spring rainfall. In some northern parts of the Basin it is equally likely that increases or decreases in water availability could be experienced.

A study was undertaken for the Upper Murray Basin, whereby river flows were estimated for the snow-free Goulburn and Ovens Basins, and the snow-affected Kiewa and Mitta-Mitta catchments that flow into the Murray. Key findings revealed that under climate change scenarios for 2030, stream flow in snow-free areas would decrease by 36% and by 30% for snow-affected areas under 'most dry scenarios' (Bennett). Whilst no change was predicted for snow-free areas and a 9% increase was predicted for snow-affected areas under 'most wet scenarios' (Bennett).