How is the Independent Panel approaching its work?

    The Panel has undertaken two stream of work to support development of findings and recommendations

    Stream 1 – Technical Work

    A technical work stream has been undertaken. This provides a number of assessments that include quantitative analysis of the economic conditions in the Basin as well as considering the the social conditions in the basin via the review of existing reports and studies.

    This includes a literature review, gap analysis, new research and future scenario modelling.

    Stream 2 – Engagement with People, Communities, Industries and Stakeholders across the Basin

    Engagement with Basin communities has been undertaken to hear directly from individuals, representative groups, industry bodies and a range of other stakeholders living and working in the basin to understand the ‘lived experience’ and to validate, test or ground-truth the technical information.

    The aim of this was also to ensure that the Panel were able to hear from a full cross-section of stakeholders and communities.

    Members of the Panel visited Basin communities between 30 September and 21 October 2019.

    The Panel has engaged with stakeholders including but not limited to:

    • community organisations and NGOs,
    • the agricultural sector (including farmers and farm businesses along the supply chain),
    • First Nations
    • tourism
    • health
    • environment and conservation groups
    • local governments and local businesses
    • scientific experts and organisations.

    Further information, including notes taken at the Engagement Sessions can be found HERE.

    Panel members have met with a number of people from inside and outside the Basin, representing a wide range of sectors of community and industry in addition to engagement sessions. 

    What work has been commissioned?

    The Technical Work Stream includes:
    • Literature Reviews,
    • Case Studies,
    • Trends and Drivers Investigations.
    The Panel has engaged experts in water policy and social-economics to look at existing research, reports, information and data.

    The Literature Review ensures that the Panel can understand what work has been done previously and what work needs to be completed to either update existing material or fill in any new gaps.  It is important that new work does not repeat or duplicate existing knowledge.

    The Case Studies look at specific sectors in the Murray-Darling Basin. These include recreational and fishing and boating interests that play an important part of Basin life. Contributing to regional economies via tourism and visitation. These pursuits are also highly valued by people living in the Basin.  

    Trends and Drivers reports consider Basin water consumption key trends and drivers. Three discussion papers prepared by Marsden Jacob Associates cover consumption trends and drivers in agriculture, by Indigenous groups, and by urban water users in the northern and southern Basin.

    Who has undertaken the commissioned work?

    Than Independent Panel has commissioned the following work and providers:
    • Murray-Darling Basin water markets: trends and drivers 2002-03 to 2018-19 by ABARES (Tim Goesch, Peter Legg and Manannan Donoghoe)
    • Indigenous water in the Murray-Darling Basin by Marsden Jacob Associates (Jeremy Cheesman and Stuart MacLachlan)
    • Northern Basin Supplementary Commentary by Marsden Jacob Associates (Jeremy Cheesman and Stuart MacLachlan)
    • Urban Water in the Murray-Darling Basin by Marsden Jacob Associates (Jeremy Cheesman and Stuart MacLachlan)
    • Rice in the Riverina by Marsden Jacob Associates (Gavan Dwyer, Matthew Clarke and Jeremy Cheesman)
    • ·  Dairy in Northern Victoria by Marsden Jacob Associates (Gavan Dwyer, Matthew Clarke, Makere Hurst and Jeremy Cheesman)
    • Recreational fishing in the Murray-Darling Basin by Marsden Jacob Associates (Jeremy Cheesman, David Rogers and Stuart MacLachlan)
    • Recreational boating in the Murray-Darling Basin by Marsden Jacob Associates (Jeremy Cheesman, David Rogers and Stuart MacLachlan)
    • Integrated economic modelling of future water recovery and climate change scenarios in the Murray-Darling Basin by Marsden Jacob Associates (Gavan Dwyer and Jeremy Cheesman), ABARES (Neal Hughes and Mihir Gupta) and Victoria University (Glyn Wittwer)
    • Future irrigation activity in the Murray-Darling Basin under scenarios of water recovery and climate change by ABARES (Neal Hughes and Mihir Gupta)
    • Regional economic modelling of future water recovery in the Murray-Darling Basin by Victoria University (Glyn Wittwer)
    • Social conditions and wellbeing in the Murray-Darling Basin by University of Canberra (Jacki Schirmer, Melinda Mylek and Dominic Peel)
    The Independent Panel extends its thanks to these providers.

    How does the Community Experience Survey play a part in the Panel's work?

    In parallel with the engagement events, the Panel released an extensive online survey is intended to provide community members with the opportunity to express their vision and concerns for their community.

    The insights from this survey helped the Panel to understand how people perceive the current social and economic health of their communities, and to identify the major opportunities and challenges facing Basin communities.

    All of the information collected from the technical work stream and community engagement is being brought together to present a picture of the condition's in the basin and will be used as evidence to support the Panel's final recommendations.