Menindee to the Mouth - Lakes and barrages


On the 22nd of February 2019, the MDA ran the very first ‘Connecting Catchments and Communities’ workshop, Menindee to The Mouth, in Renmark. This dynamic workshop was attended by around 50 communities leaders, and explored important issues around the role and management of both the Menindee Lakes, and the Coorong and Lower Lakes.

Experts and relevant authorities spoke to a really engaged crowd at the event, with discussions aimed at better understanding operational and ecological management strategies, and the interconnectedness of our Basin regions.

The four key discussions on the day centred covered the role and management of the Menindee Lakes (operational and ecological), the role and management of the barrages and Lower Lakes (operational and ecological), water extractions and allocation rules, and environmental watering priorities and Water Resource Plans. Guest presentations included:

Name Position Presentation

Jacqui Hickey

Director of River Murray Operations

Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Role and Management of Menindee Lakes 

Operational and Ecological

Mitchell Isaacs

Director Intergovernmental and Strategic Stakeholder Relations

NSW Department of Industry

Role and Management of Menindee Lakes

Operational and Ecological

Jarrod Eaton


Water Resource Operations, SA Dept of Environment and Water

Role and management of the barrages and Lower Lakes

Operational and Ecological

Richard Mintern

Local Engagement Officer, Southern Basin Section

Commonwealth Environmental Water Officer

Water extrations and allocation rules
"Why is their water allocation greater/smaller than ours?"
Towards consistency and equity across the States

Graham White

Direction Regional Water Regulation (West-Murray Darling)

NSW Natural Resource Access Regulator

Water extrations and allocation rules
"Why is their water allocation greater/smaller than ours?"
Towards consistency and equity across the States

Marcus Finn

Senior director Water Resource Plans and Basin Policy

Murray Darling Basin Authority 

Water Resource Plans

Joel Bailey

Senior Eco-Hydrology Analyst

Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Environmental watering priorities and Water Resource Plans

Adaptive capacity - responding to variation in climate and other conditions



“First off thank you so much for the forum in Renmark last Friday. It was great to hear the information presented by the speakers and I now have a greater understanding of many aspects of the water delivery/river system and its many roles,” from a participant

“I learned so much out of today,” from both participants and presenters.

“The presenters we heard from today give me a great deal of confidence that the people tasked with managing the Plan are genuinely dedicated professionals whose expertise and commitment is very clear,” from the Mayor of one traditionally fractious community.

“Great to see people so willing to listen and understand what’s happening across their border,” from several.

“Thanks, and it was a very valuable forum from my perspective too. Great to talk to people who are looking to exchange information and work together. The introduction to the event on having an open, informed conversation in a respectful manner set the day up perfectly too!” from a speaker.

“Well done on the event.  It was extremely well organised and managed and I felt like people were really listening and wanted to understand,” from a speaker.

“I found it particularly useful to talk to some of the attendees from NSW and Victoria and hear issues directly from them. I'm aiming to keep the conversations happening and they have my contact details. This was a great opportunity to set the record straight on a number of myths - certainly having the MDBA, NSW, CEWO and SA there helped greatly with this. I have received feedback from a few attendees that really appreciated the willingness to have an open, honest and in depth conversation,” from a speaker.

This event was part of MDA’s Connecting Catchments and Communities series of workshops. Other workshops coming up this year include:

  • Albury to Adelaide – exploring topics of inflows and urban waste use, planning, food management etc.
  • Balonne to Broken Hill – exploring topics of irrigation in the Norther Basin, Barwong-Darling water sharing plan etc
  • Moira to Mildura – exploring issues of constraints, management of the Barmah choke, impact of the expanding irrigation footprint to permanent plantings below The Choke, total capacity and supply obligations
  • Naran Lake to Nyngan – Managing the Macquarie Mashes – exploring the relationship between the irrigation, the SDLs and ephemeral wetlands of the interior

For further information, or to register your interest in these upcoming events, email