Water allocation reform to meet environmental uses while sustaining irrigation: A case study of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

Rosalind Bark, Mac Kirby, Jeffery D. Connor, Neville D. Crossman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Governments are developing policy to reallocate water to environmental uses in many of the world's major river basins developed for irrigation. These policies can place considerable pressure on the irrigation sector to adjust, and may be perceived to conflict with food security and rural development goals. This paper reviews the literature examining opportunities to reduce irrigation district and third party externalities associated with rapid adjustment to water reallocation, with emphasis on recent water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), Australia. We focus on opportunities to improve joint environmental and regional economic outcomes, by targeting and sequencing policy instruments operating at different scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-754
Number of pages16
JournalWater Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2014


  • Environmental water recovery
  • Irrigation sustainability
  • Murray-Darling Basin
  • Trade-offs

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