About the document
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) and the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) supported this project to improve the Basin annual environmental watering priorities (Basin priorities – set by the MDBA) so they can better inform annual environmental water management planning. The method for determining Basin priorities has improved over time, however, the need to establish an evidence-based approach was identified when MDBA undertook a review of the Environmental Watering Plan.
The project successfully developed a GIS tool and evaluation framework that uses remote sensing and other monitoring data to assess the vulnerability of waterbirds and native vegetation at Basin scale. It found that vulnerability generally matched with what would be expected given Basin climatic conditions e.g. high vulnerability during the Millennium Drought. The results can provide a valuable input to the Basin scale annual environmental watering priorities process.
The project and method were developed in close consultation with environmental water managers, technical experts and scientists across the MDB through a series of workshops and meetings. The final report was reviewed by a Technical Advisory Group, the Environmental Watering Committee and the Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee.
The MDBA are using the method developed by this this project to inform development of the Basin priorities for 2023-24. The CEWH and the MDBA will consider extending the method to native fish and river flows and connectivity once incorporation of current results into the 2023-24 Basin priorities has been evaluated.
The MDBA has published the code developed by the project at GitHub - MDBAuth/Vulnerabilities-Project. Project data can be provided upon request using the Geospatial data services request form | Murray-Darling Basin Authority