IRRIGATION. Agriculture is the dominant economic activity in the Murray-Darling Basin. Further, the Basin is Australia's most important agricultural region, accounting for just over 41 per cent of the nation's gross value of agricultural production.
Figure 1 Major areas of irrigation and irrigated crops and pastures in the MDB
Major irrigation Areas
Irrigated crops and pastures x 5,000 hectares
Irrigated crops and pastures x22 hectares.
In comparison with many other countries, Australia has long had a low rate of return on its investment in irrigation largely due to the fact that the bulk of the irrigation water used in the southern Basin supports mixed farming and low-value commodities.
This situation is complicated by the fact that a number of the commodities produced are also inefficient users of water .
For example, while fruit, vegetables and dairying are among the most efficient, rice and grazing are the most inefficient, with cotton in between .
Murray darling basin
Woody weed effected area
Acidic soil at surface