Water in our environment


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

Commonwealth Environmental Water

The Water Act 2007 establishes arrangements for the management of the water entitlements that the Commonwealth acquires. These water entitlements will be used to protect or restore environmental assets such as wetlands and streams. Further information is available at the Commonwealth environmental water homepage.


Wetlands are vital to Australia. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and provide critical habitat for animals and plants.

  • Find out more about Australia's significant and Ramsar wetlands.

Living Murray Initiative

The Living Murray Initiative was established to help improve the health of the River Murray, with a focus on six icon sites that are internationally significant wetlands supporting a rich biodiversity. The program is managed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Great Artesian Basin

The Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest underground water reservoir in the world. It underlies approximately 22 per cent of Australia.

Lake Eyre Basin

The Lake Eyre Basin is one of the world's largest internally draining systems covering about 1.2 million square kilometres, almost one-sixth of Australia.