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External Shocks

murray darling river

Full Project Title: Modelling the effects of external shocks like drought and cuts in water on well-being in the Murray-Darling Basin

Theme 1 : Drivers of change - understanding and integrating the economic, social, health and drivers of change in the Murray-Darling Basin

This project was led by Dr Robert Tanton

A public meeting at Wilcannia in New South Wales. Picture courtesy of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.This project brings together a number of different models in different areas to achieve a holistic model of the Murray-Darling Basin from water cuts to social impacts. The overall model will allow the user to create 'what if' scenarios. For instance, looking at what would happen to wellbeing in an area if the water allocation to farmers, businesses and households was cut. The method will use an ecological model to estimate the impact of the cuts on the flow of water to farms and households in the present and future; a business impact model and Input/Output model to estimate the effect on the industrial section (ie. farms and businesses) in an area; and then microsimulation models to estimate the effect on households. The effect on wellbeing and psychological stress will then be estimated using complex regression models. Other models that will be tested and implanted if possible, will be an agent based model to estimate interactions between the households; and a systems based approach to estimate the effect of the environment on household wellbeing, bringing a feedback loop into the model. This feedback loop would mean that water going to the environment to keep people in the area, and the environment relies on water going to agriculture and industry to keep communities and jobs in the area.


Picture courtesy of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. A public meeting at Wilcannia in New South Wales.

MDBfutures is supported by the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Networks program.