Global Fraud Footprint

Severe water issues in Australia worsened by fraud



Traditional corruption frauds — bribery, kickbacks and conflicts of interest — are affecting water management and availability in Australia. Droughts, fires and floods are raising the stakes.

Australians probably couldn’t survive without the Murray-Darling Basin — a system of rivers, creeks, streams, wetlands and other catchments. The basin covers almost 14% of the mainland, contains more than 40% of all Australian farms, produces one-third of the country’s food supply and holds tens of billions worth of agricultural production value. Beyond its geographic, economic and agricultural significance, the basin is a habitat for dozens of endangered species of animals. (See Murray Darling Basin, Discover Murray River.)

The Australian government, during a significant drought in the middle of the last decade, passed the Water Act 2007 to improve water efficiency and to address over-allocation of water for rural Australia. The act established the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) that developed the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in 2012. (See Developing the Basin Plan, Murray-Darling Basin Authority.) Regardless, large portions of the Darling River are drying up, toxic water has poisoned land animals and a million fish died in a single mass event in January 2019. And, of course, fraud has crept into the picture.



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