The Australian National Water Commission today published “Impacts of water trading in the southern Murray–Darling Basin between 2006-07 and 2010-11”. The report examines a period where there were four years of drought, major fluctuations in economic conditions for many irrigation industries and significant increases in water market activity. It considers the impacts of water trading on individual irrigators, industries, regional communities and the environment.

The report finds that water markets make a major contribution to optimising the economic, social and environmental values of scarce water resources. Water trading is an important tool for irrigators in making production, investment and risk management decisions. It finds water trading is valuable in a variety of seasonal conditions, not just as a reactive response to droughts.

Frontier (Australia) was the main author and led the consortium that prepared this report for the National Water Commission.

For more information, please contact Marita O’Keeffe at or call on +61 (0)3 9620 4488.

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