Much concern about the negative environmental consequences of agricultural development in Australia, including salinisation, waterlogging and algal blooms, has focused on the problems of the Murray–Darling Basin. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the environmental problems of the Murray–Darling Basin from an economic perspective, and a selective survey of the relevant economic literature, including theoretical analysis, modelling and contributions to the development of water policy. In attempting to understand the complex problems of the Murray–Darling Basin, an eclectic approach drawing on externality, sustainability and property rights perspectives seems most appropriate.


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