South Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM region

Regional summary

Map of the region

The South Australian Murray-Darling Basin region covers 70 000 sq km or about 7 per cent of South Australia. The region supports a population of 81 000 people (about 5 per cent of the state's population) across 15 local government areas.

The landscape varies from the low-lying coastal plains of the Coorong to the flat expanse of the Mallee to the steeper slopes of the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges.

Water use and quality are dominant issues in this region, reflecting the importance of the Murray River to the state for its water supply. A feature of the region is the extent and significance of irrigated agriculture, with natural resource management (NRM) priorities reflecting improved NRM and environmental objectives.

Many of the catchment's natural habitats and resources have been degraded or lost; many plants and animals have become extinct, and others are endangered.

The main causes of degradation are rising salinity and declining water quality; over-exploitation of water resources; altered water flows; introduced and feral plants and animals; habitat modification; and inappropriate land use and management.

Biodiversity summary

Biodiversity summaries and species lists for the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin region have been produced by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts using the Australian Heritage Assessment Tool.

For information visit: Biodiversity summaries and species lists for natural resource management regions 


South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board manages this region.

For more information visit: