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Rivers in the northern catchments are less regulated and have extremely variable flows. Most floods in the northern catchments take place as a result of summer rainfall. At high flows, water spreads out over a vast floodplain and a significant amount of water does not return to the rivers. Periods of zero flow in the northern catchments can last months or even years.

The southern catchments of the Murray-Darling Basin are highly regulated systems that flow through a variety of landscapes across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

The headwaters of both the Murray and the Murrumbidgee catchments originate in the wetter, cooler climate of the Australian Alps before flowing westward into the warmer, drier climate of the floodplains.

Each catchment has information about environmental watering actions, portfolio and planning and monitoring in the catchment.