With less than a year to go, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is in a dreadful mess

The Murray Darling Basin Plan is an historic deal between state and federal governments to save Australia’s most important river system. The A$13 billion plan, inked over a decade ago, was supposed to rein in the water extracted by farmers and communities, and make sure the environment got the water it needed.

But now, less than a year out from the plan’s deadline, it’s in a dreadful mess. Projects have not been delivered. Governments cannot agree on who gets the water, or how. All the while, water in the Murray-Darling Basin will become scarcer as climate change worsens.