The Murray Darling Basin, located in the south eastern part of Australia, is the countries largest catchement area and main water reservoire for the cities and the agriculture. Historically and now even more in the course of climate change, Australia is facing significant water shortages. The Murray Darling Basin is running out of water and thus challenging the habits of Australians in the cities and in rural agriculture. The tense situation is a challenge in environmental, socio-economic and cultural regards.
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The Murray—Darling basin is a large geographical area in the interior of southeastern Australia , encompassing the drainage basin of the tributaries of the Murray River , Australia's longest river , and the Darling River , a right tributary of the Murray and Australia's third-longest river. The basin, which includes six of Australia's seven longest rivers and covers around one-seventh of the Australian landmass,  is one of the country's most significant agricultural areas. Located west of the Great Dividing Range , it drains southwestly into the Great Australian Bight and spans most of the states of New South Wales and Victoria , the Australian Capital Territory , and parts of the states of Queensland the lower third and South Australia the southeastern corner. The many rivers it contains tend to be long and slow-flowing, and carry a volume of water that is large only by Australian standards. The Snowy Mountains Scheme provides some security of water flows to the Murray—Darling basin, providing approximately 2, gigalitres 7. The basin was once home to a large number of Aboriginal people whose traditional lifestyle and cultures were gradually altered by the arrival of Europeans, while others were outright killed by the settlers.
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Most of the irrigated area is given to pasture and crops. Some crops vegetables, fruit and nuts yield relatively high prices for low levels of water use, but others such as rice produce lower value for high levels of water use. Water is also needed for domestic and industrial uses and to maintain life in the rivers and floodplains. As a result, the MDB is the most highly regulated river system in Australia, which is complicated by the fact the Basin straddles four states and the ACT. Many issues affect the water resources and ecosystems of the MDB including salinity , erosion , blue-green algal blooms , water quality, and invasive species.