About Natural Resources SA Murray Darling Basin
Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin is the agency that delivers a diverse range of programs and projects on behalf of the regional NRM board and Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources for the SA Murray-Darling Basing NRM region.
The SA Murray-Darling Basin region (see map) extends from where the River Murray crosses the border from Victoria into South Australia, down to where it meets the sea at the Coorong. It covers 70,000 square kilometres and includes six distinct ecological areas:
- River Murray
- Coorong and Lower Lakes
- Murray Mallee
- Murray Plains
- Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges
- South Olary Plains.
The region’s natural resources support a wide range of human activities. The River Murray supplies the majority of the water needs for the capital city of Adelaide as well as other towns in the state. The natural resources also support tourism, recreation and manufacturing, as well as one of the most productive agricultural areas in South Australia. About 82% of the land in the region is used for primary production, including pastoral lands, dryland cropping, grazing, horticulture, irrigation and dairy farming.
Within the region, there are ecosystems that are of state, national and international significance, including the Ramsar-listed Chowilla Floodplain and the Coorong and Lower Lakes. As a result, there are large areas of national parks dedicated to nature conservation.
Managing natural resources in the region
Managing natural resources in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin region is important and challenging. The region is home to over 110,000 people who use and enjoy the natural resources of the River Murray and surrounding areas. It is also home to South Australia’s most productive agricultural region and ecosystems that are internationally recognised as having significant environmental importance. Managing natural resources is about working together to ensure that these needs of the community, industries and the environment are balanced in a way that is sustainable.
With this balance in mind, the vision for natural resources management in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region is ‘a healthy, living landscape meeting the social, environmental, economic and cultural needs of the community, and ensuring the rights and wellbeing of future generations’. To achieve this vision, the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board has worked with the community and stakeholders to develop a Regional NRM Plan that sets targets for the condition of the environment in the region. Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin works with the community, industries and three tiers of government to deliver programs and projects that aim to achieve these targets.