Collaboration and Adoption

  Collaboration and Adoption
Workshop on the adoption of MDB EWKR research held in November 2016 Photo: Ben Gawne

The primary goal of the Murray–Darling Basin EWKR project is to undertake research that Water Managers can directly apply to their programs and operations, particularly to:

  • improve their ability to predict the outcomes of environmental flow allocations over a 1 to 5 year time horizon
  • improve information flow so that the MDBA, CEWO and State agencies can give more detailed and realistic reports on progress toward Basin Plan environmental objectives and targets.

This means that before the research began, EWKR focussed on building a project that produces research knowledge for direct adoption and implementation. It has been building strong collaborations with water managers across the Murray–Darling Basin and at the four MDB EWKR sites to identify what information they require, and to develop the research questions that will provide this information. For example, more than 150 waterway managers have been consulted in workshops and surveys throughout the Murray-Darling Basin to identify what information they need and how it can be best delivered.


EKWR’s program is wholly based on a collaborative approach, involving partnerships with federal and state governments, water and NRM management managers and multiple research organisations across the Murray–Darling Basin. This is built into the broad structure that governs our work:

  • Organisational collaboration: the Jurisdictional Reference Group comprises direct input from Federal Government agencies (DoEE, MDBA, and CEWO), State Agencies (in each of the Basin states).
  • Scientific collaboration: EWKR research is government by the Scientific Advisory Group. In 2015, an Expression of Interest tender process invited and selected scientific experts from a large range of institutions to participate in research teams which are investigating four key ecological themes (vegetation, fish, waterbirds and food webs).

Organisations currently consulted as project team members or workshop participants:


Commonwealth Environment Water Office (CEWO)

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE)

Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA)

New South Wales

Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries

Department of Primary Industries - Water

Forestry Corporation of NSW

Local Land Services

Office of Environment and Heritage


Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Department of Natural Resources and Mines

Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation

Queensland Murray-Darling Committee

Condamine Alliance

South Australia

Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources

South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) -Aquatic Sciences


Department of Environment and Primary Industries

Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority

Goulburn Murray Water

Mallee Catchment Management Authority

North Central Catchment Management Authority

Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH)

Arthur Rylah Institute - Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Wimmera Catchment Management Authority


Charles Darwin University

Charles Sturt University - Institute for Land, Water and Society

Deakin University

Griffith University - Australian Rivers Institute

James Cook University

University of Canberra - Institute for Applied Ecology

University of Adelaide

University of New England - Aquatic Ecology and Restoration Research Group

University of New South Wales – Centre for Ecosystem Sciences

University of Tasmania


Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation

Australian River Restoration Centre (ARRC)


Goulburn floodplain wetland Photo: Ben Gawne
Goulburn floodplain wetland Photo: Ben Gawne
Aquatic plant Myriophyllum papillosum Photo: Ben Gawne