As consumptive demands have grown in the Murray River basin, ecological health has declined and debate over how water should be allocated has grown. Additional structured thinking about the trade-offs involved in finding a balance for the overall environmental integrity of the Murray River basin is necessary. This paper describes how economic analysis can contribute to a screening process for seeking this balance that incorporates biophysical information as well as market and non-market benefits for a range of possible investments in floodplain health. This screening process can help decision makers successively filter the options, narrow the field and evaluate whether it is in society’s interest to let particular floodplains decline with no further intervention.


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