Future-Ready MDB Forum: Beyond 2030 Report Released

December 12th, 2019


The Future Ready Murray-Darling Basin Forum: Beyond 2030 held over 14th and 15th of March 2019 provided a unique opportunity for Australia’s leading thinkers to focus their attention on the long-term future of the Murray-Darling Basin. It commenced a national conversation to:

  1. Consider future constraints and opportunities for balancing environmental, cultural, social and economic demands of the Basin,
  2. Identify critical gaps and investments in knowledge that are needed to realise a sustainable future for the Basin, and
  3. Ensure that these investments deliver impact, securing the natural and managed landscape resources of the Basin for the future benefit of the nation.

With 100 participants from diverse backgrounds, the forum explored the future of the Basin through the lens of global trends, the physical environment and regional communities and economies. The forum highlighted the need to embed the values of the people and communities of the Basin and recognised that long-term future strategic priorities and knowledge needs for the Basin will need better partnerships by:

  • Connecting with people and their values,
  • Connecting our lands and water, and
  • Connecting Western and Indigenous knowledge.

The forum examined drivers of change, how we need to adapt to change, and building resilience to change. A solutions-focus to the challenges was a heartening feature of the two days of discussion, generating support for longer-term collaboration around the Basin.

Identified solutions which put people at the centre of a better Basin future included models of adaptive governance, using advanced data technologies that scale from farm to basin, models to better predict the future, and developing our social science capabilities.

The discussions started through this Forum will be ongoing and over time will engage leading thinkers from across the Murray-Darling Basin with diverse knowledge and backgrounds. CSIRO, which has played an important part in the history of Australian water reforms as a trusted advisor, thought leader and provider of independent and rigorous scientific solutions to inform Basin management, is committed to shared dialogue, learning and understanding. The Future Ready Murray-Darling Basin Forum has started capturing these ideas and developing broad alignment around key areas of knowledge and capability that are needed to help prepare Australia into the future.

Forum objectives

The Future-Ready Murray-Darling Basin Forum: Beyond 2030 sought to bring together leading thinkers to collectively:

  1. Initiate a constructive dialogue on the longer-term, future-looking priorities and knowledge needs of the Murray-Darling Basin,
  2. Identify strategic priorities and knowledge needs for the future, and
  3. Generate support for longer-term collaboration to develop and invest in an understanding of a Future-Ready Murray-Darling Basin: Beyond 2030.
    This document synthesises key parts of the dialogue from the forum, with a focus on key points raised, including future change; what a future ready Basin looks like; and what actions we can undertake now.

Read the full Future-Ready MDB Forum: Beyond 2030 report (PDF)