Adapting water management to climate change in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia

Ian P. Prosser, Francis H.S. Chiew, Mark Stafford Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


Climate change is threatening water security in water-scarce regions across the world, challenging water management policy in terms of how best to adapt. Transformative new approaches have been proposed, but management policies remain largely the same in many instances, and there are claims that good current management practice is well adapted. This paper takes the case of the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia, where management policies are highly sophisticated and have been through a recent transformation in order to critically review how well adapted the basin’s management is to climate change. This paper synthesizes published data, recent literature, and water plans in order to evaluate the outcomes of water management policy. It identifies several limitations and inequities that could emerge in the context of climate change and, through synthesis of the broader climate adaptation literature, proposes solutions that can be implemented when basin management is formally reviewed in 2026.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2504
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2021


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