Advertisement

Murray-Darling Basin: Conservation and Law

  • Jamie Pittock
Reference work entry

Abstract

Better wetland conservation law can be informed by lessons from Australia’s Murray–Darling Basin. The legal character of water entitlements is critical for ensuring that water is available to adequately sustain wetlands. Better management has been informed by national harmonization of water data collection and providing public access to this information. An independent statutory manager of environmental water in the Federal Government has ensured that environmental water is protected are used to conserve wetlands. Domestic law has been considerably strengthened by drawing on international treaties, especially the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Overlapping roles of federal and state governments have hindered some conservation initiatives but have also ensured some level of wetland conservation continues at one level of government when the other level of government does not do so. As direct government action has become more financially and politically constrained, businesses, community organizations, and Indigenous peoples have been enabled to play greater roles in conservation of wetlands. This broader approach to wetlands governance has generated more innovative approaches and stakeholder support for wetland conservation.

Keywords

Australia Business sector Conservation reserves Environmental law Federal government Indigenous peoples Murray-Darling Basin Non-government organizations Ramsar Convention on Wetlands River basin management Water entitlements Water law water markets Wetlands conservation 

References

  1. Australian Government. Environment protection & biodiversity conservation act 1999. Canberra: Australian Government; 1999. Available at: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2013C00539. Accessed 7 Nov 2013.
  2. Australian Government. Australian national periodic report section II. Report on the State of Conservation of the Willandra Lakes Region. Paris: UNESCO; 2002. Available at: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/periodicreporting/APA/cycle01/section2/167.pdf. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  3. Bandler H. Water resources exploitation in Australian prehistory environment. Environmentalist. 1995;15(2):97–107. Available at:  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01901293. Accessed.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BHA. Naree station. Melbourne: Bush Heritage Australia; 2014. Available at: http://www.bushheritage.org.au/places-we-protect/state_new_south_wales/naree-station. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  5. Blasco D. Wise use of wetlands. J Environ Law. 2001;13(2):293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. BoM, ABS. Australian Government water accounting. Activities of the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Melbourne/Canberra: Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2011. Available at: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/about/publications/document/InfoSheet_11.pdf. Accessed 15 Mar 2012.
  7. Bowling L, Baker P. Major cyanobacterial bloom in the Barwon-Darling River, Australia, in 1991, and underlying limnological conditions. Mar Freshw Res. 1996;47(4):643–57. Available at: http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/MF9960643. Accessed.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Commonwealth of Australia. In: Attorney-General’s Department, editor. Act No. 137 as amended. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2008.Google Scholar
  9. Commonwealth of Australia. Basin plan. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2012. Available at: http://www.mdba.gov.au/basin-plan. Accessed 28 Feb 2013.
  10. Commonwealth of Australia, Government of New South Wales, Government of Victoria, Government of Queensland, Government of South Australia, Government of the Australian Capital Territory and Government of the Northern Territory. Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative, Council of Australian Governments. 2004. Available at: http://www.nwc.gov.au/www/html/117-national-water-initiative.asp. Accessed 7 Nov 2008.
  11. Connell D. Water politics in the Murray-Darling basin. Leichardt: The Federation Press; 2007.Google Scholar
  12. Connell D. The role of the commonwealth environmental water holder. In: Connell D, Grafton RQ, editors. Basin futures: water reform in the Murray-Darling basin. Canberra: ANU E Press; 2011. p. 327–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. DEWHA. National guidelines for notifying change in ecological character of Australian Ramsar sites (article 3.2). Module 3 of the national guidelines for Ramsar wetlands – implementing the Ramsar Convention in Australia. Canberra: Department of the Environment Water Heritage and the Arts; 2009. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/index.html#wetlands. Accessed 4 Jan 2010.Google Scholar
  14. DoE. Toogimbie indigenous protected area. Canberra: Department of the Environment; 2013. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/ipa/declared/toogimbie.html. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  15. DoE. Banrock station wetland complex. Canberra: Department of the Environment; 2011. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/wetlands/ramsardetails.pl?refcode=63. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  16. Farrier D, Tucker L. Wise use of wetlands under the Ramsar convention: a challenge for meaningful implementation of international law. J Environ Law. 2000;12(1):21–42. Available at: http://jel.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/1/21.abstract. Accessed 22 May 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. First People’s; Water Engagement Council. Advice to the national water commission. Canberra: National Water Commission; 2012. Available at: http://www.nwc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/22576/FPWEC-Advice-to-NWC-May-2012.pdf. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  18. Fisher DE. Australian environmental law. Sydney: Lawbook Co; 2003.Google Scholar
  19. Gardner A. The legal protection of Ramsar Wetlands: Australian reforms. In: Martin P, Zhiping L, Tianbao Q, Du Plessis A, Le Bouthillier Y, Williams A, editors. Environmental governance and sustainability. 2012. pp. 193–217.Google Scholar
  20. Garrick D, De Stefano L, Fung F, Pittock J, Schlager E, New M, Connell D. Managing hydroclimatic risks in federal rivers: a diagnostic assessment. Philos Trans R Soc A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2013;371(2002):20120415. Available at: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/2002/20120415.abstract. Accessed 19 Oct 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grafton RQ. Economic costs and benefits of the proposed basin plan. In: Connell D, Grafton RQ, editors. Basin futures: water reform in the Murray-Darling basin. Canberra: ANU E Press; 2011. p. 254–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grafton RQ, Pittock J, Davis R, Williams J, Fu G, Warburton M, Udall B, McKenzie R, Yu X, Che N, Connell D, Jiang Q, Kompas T, Lynch A, Norris R, Possingham H, Quiggin J. Global insights into water resources, climate change and governance. Nat Clim Chang. 2012;3(4):315–21. Available at: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n4/full/nclimate1746.html. Accessed 19 May 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Grafton RQ, Pittock J, Williams J, Jiang Q, Possingham H, Quiggin J. Water planning and hydro-climatic change in the Murray-Darling basin, Australia. AMBIO. 2014: 1–11. Available at:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-014-0495-x. Accessed 2 Mar 2014.
  24. Jackson S, Morrison J. Indigenous perspectives in water management, reforms and implementation. Managing water for Australia: the social and institutional challenges. 2007. pp. 22–41.Google Scholar
  25. Kingsford RT, Brandis K, Thomas RF, Crighton P, Knowles E, Gale E. Classifying landform at broad spatial scales: the distribution and conservation of wetlands in New South Wales, Australia. Mar Freshw Res. 2004;55(1):17–31. Available at: http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/MF03075. Accessed 7 Apr 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lintermans M. Human‐assisted dispersal of alien freshwater fish in Australia. N Z J Mar Freshw Res. 2004;38(3):481–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. MWWG. Environmental watering. Blackwood: Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd; 2014. Available at: http://www.murraydarlingwetlands.com.au/what-we-do/projects/successful/environmental-watering/. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  28. NRC. Final assessment report. River in a bioregion regional forest assessment river red gums and woodland forests. Sydney: NSW Natural Resources Commission; 2009. Available at: http://www.nrc.nsw.gov.au/content/documents/Red%20gum%20-%20FAR%20-%20Complete.pdf. Accessed 24 Dec 2009.
  29. NSW Ramsar Managers Network. Who are the Ramsar managers network. Shortland: NSW Ramsar Managers Network; 2010. Available at: http://www.ramsarmanagers.org.au/page16065/Ramsar-Managers-Network.aspx. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  30. Pittock J. Lessons from adaptation to sustain freshwater environments in the Murray–Darling basin, Australia. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Clim Chang. 2013;4(6):429–38. Available at:  https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.230. Accessed 2 Sep 2013.Google Scholar
  31. Pittock J, Finlayson CM, Gardner A, McKay C. Changing character: the Ramsar convention on wetlands and climate change in the Murray-Darling basin, Australia. Environ Plan Law J. 2010;27(6):401–25. Available at: http://legalonline.thomson.com.au/jour/resultSummary.jsp?tocType=fullText&curRequestedHref=journals/EPLJ. Accessed 7 Apr 2012.
  32. Pittock J, Finlayson CM, Howitt JA. Beguiling and risky: “Environmental works and measures” for wetlands conservation under a changing climate. Hydrobiologia. 2012;708(1):111–31. Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-012-1292-9. Accessed 5 Oct 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ramsar. Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. Ramsar (Iran), 2 February 1971. UN Treaty Series No. 14583. As amended by the Paris Protocol, 3 December 1982, and Regina Amendments, 28 May 1987. Gland: Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; 2009. Available at: http://www.ramsar.org/cda/ramsar/display/main/main.jsp?zn=ramsar&cp=1-31-38_4000_0__. Accessed 10 Aug 2009.
  34. Ross H, Grant C, Robinson CJ, Izurieta A, Smyth D, Rist P. Co-management and Indigenous protected areas in Australia: achievements and ways forward. Australas J Environ Manag. 2009;16(4):242–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. SEWPAC. Australian Ramsar site nomination guidelines. Canberra: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; 2012. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/australian-ramsar-site-nomination-guidelines. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.Google Scholar
  36. State of the Environment Committee. State of the environment 2011. Canberra: Australian Government; 2011.Google Scholar
  37. Weir JK. Water planning and dispossession. In: Connell D, Grafton RQ, editors. Basin futures: water reform in the Murray-Darling basin. Canberra: ANU E Press; 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fenner School of Environment and SocietyThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations