Water law and the Murray-Darling Basin

Beyond ‘shut-up water’: Getting water sharing plans to work for rivers and people 9/7/2020 By Special Counsel Dr Emma Carmody.

‘The Barka’, Uncle Badger says with conviction, ‘is a sick patient. It needs to be nursed back to health, and we need our cultural flows to survive.’


A series on water law and the Murray-Darling Basin. By Special Counsel Dr Emma Carmody.

Part 1 The role of connectivity in maintaining a healthy river system 27th May 2020


Environment loses as subsidies drive extractions in Murray-Darling Basin 1st May 2020 By Special Counsel Dr Emma Carmody.

EDO water law specialist Emma Carmody has co-authored an article published today which finds that the Australian Government’s $4 billion irrigation efficiency program for the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) has led to irrigators who received infrastructure subsidies extracting up to 28 per cent more water than those who did not.


Analysis: Climate change and water governance in an era of high-tech irrigation 13th March 2020

On 19 February this year, Dr Emma Carmody, EDO’s Special Counsel and water law expert, gave this opening address at an international workshop jointly sponsored by the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law, University of Sydney Law School and Environmental Defenders Office.

Here Emma explains why making irrigation infrastructure more efficient may not save water at a catchment or basin scale, and the impact of this in an increasingly water scarce and populous world .


Threats to wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin. Updated 3rd June 2020. By Special Counsel Dr Emma Carmody.

Sadly, wetlands are among the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin wetlands are no exception. While many wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin naturally cycle between wetter and drier periods, drier periods have recently become significantly longer. 

The main reason for this is long-term over consumption of water for human use, particularly irrigation for agriculture. 

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