A $50 million Federal Government grant through the Commonwealth Cooperative Research Centres Program, together with $106.5 million from 85 partners, will support a new partnership to achieve a more productive, resilient and sustainable Murray-Darling Basin through the newly announced One Basin Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

A collaborative partnership, the One Basin CRC, led by the University of Melbourne, will develop and commercialise opportunities for Australia’s irrigated agriculture and rural water industries.

One Basin CRC will create and assess new sustainable water and agricultural technologies and drive their adoption by water managers and farmers to increase agricultural production while ensuring environmental resilience and sustainability. First Nations inclusion, recognition and respect will also be a core element of the initiative.

University of Melbourne Professor Mike Stewardson, leading the One Basin CRC as interim CEO, said the One Basin CRC is shaped by industry and will pave the way to transform irrigation regions across Australia and internationally.

“By 2037, an estimated $4.3 billion of economic impact will be generated by innovation in water, agriculture and energy technology, enhanced forecasting and decision-making capacity, with a focus on sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change,” Professor Stewardson said in a statement.

“Australia’s irrigation regions are the powerhouse of Australia’s agricultural sector producing 50 per cent of Australia’s agricultural profits, with the Murray-Darling Basin being the focus of two thirds of that irrigated agriculture.”

Water Research Australia supported the One Basic CRC funding bid will play a role in the collaborative partnership on behalf of our members. General Manager Research Services Jacqueline Frizenschaf said WaterRA’s focus will be in the areas of knowledge transfer.

“We will impart outreach and knowledge transfer efforts for the benefit of our members, primarily through our Research Leadership Program and the Australian Water School,” Frizenschaf said.

“With Reconciliation Action Plans of our water utilities now actively progressing to include traditional owners in their business, WaterRA is ready to offer to our industry members additional opportunities to increase research for and with traditional owners in the Murray Darling Basin.”

Over its ten-year term, One Basin CRC’s activities will be concentrated across four regional Basin hubs located at Loxton, Mildura, Griffith and Goondiwindi, working directly with industry, businesses, First Nations, community and government.

For more information contact Jacqueline Frizenschaf or visit the One Basin CRC website.