Murray-Darling Basin (incl. Canberra, Australia)

Murray-catchment-map MJC.png

My doctoral research took me to the southeast quadrant of Australia for the months of June through August, 2013. I interviewed nearly 50 individuals about the long-term management of the Murray-Darling Basin to find out more about how institutions are evolving as they take on the challenge of adapting to climate change. I’m grateful for support from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1310954) in cooperation with the Australian Academy of Science, and The Australian National University in Canberra. , and for to my host scholar at ANU, Fenner School Director and Professor Steve Dovers, as well as others in the Fenner School for Environment and Society and the Crawford School of Public Policy.

The region’s major concern is that climate change is predicted to bring more frequent and more severe droughts to a land well known for precipitation extremes. After suffering through the nation’s most severe drought on record, nicknamed the “Big Dry” or the “Millennium Drought,” adaptation efforts to reduce the region’s vulnerability to drought was high on the policy agenda.

There are numerous accounts of this dramatic period in recent Australian history. See for example, National Geographic’s feature article, and check out this informative graphic from Reuters on Drought and Agriculture in Australia.

(image source: CC BY-SA 3.0,

A Spontaneous Selection of Useful Links

Australian websites on climate change

Murray Darling Basin

Australian Drought Timelines

Visuals of the Australian landscape