The Murray-Darling Basin | Quick Facts

Total of 23 river valleys

Basin area over one million square kilometres (1 x 106 km2)

14% of total area of Australia

Annual average rainfall 530,618 gigalitres (GL)

94% of rainfall evaporates, 2% drains into the ground and 4% ends up as runoff

Basin generates 39% of the national income derived from agricultural production

Produces 53% of Australian cereals grown for grain, 95% of oranges and 54% of apples

Supports 28% of the nation’s cattle herd, 45% of sheep and 62% of pigs.

The MDB is home to a large number of different plants and animals including:

  • 35 endangered species of birds
  • 16 species of endangered mammals
  • over 35 different native fish species.

The MDB also includes over 30,000 wetlands – some of which are listed internationally for their importance to migratory birds from within the Basin, other parts of Australia and overseas.