The Lower Murray and Plains features water-based recreation, river shacks, conservation reserves, and provides the water supply for metropolitan Adelaide, country towns and irrigated agriculture. Types of production include; irrigated horticulture, dairies, dryland farming, grazing and intensive farming along the river corridor.
This page provides an overview of the things people value about the landscapes, livelihoods and lifestyles of the Lower Murray and Plains subregion, what is driving change, and what needs to be worked on to ensure the values supported by natural resources persist for the future.
Download printable subregion summary
Some of the features we value in the Lower Murray and Plains that are supported by natural resources include:
- Aboriginal cultural values
- 'Lifestyle' values strongly connected to the River Murray; rural living, river shacks, water-based recreation, volunteering and strong community cohesion
- natural beauty; landscape aesthetic and connection to the river, including the iconic River Murray cliffs
- secure freshwater supplies from the River Murray for Adelaide, country town supplies, domestic and industrial use
- agriculture production from irrigated horticulture, dairies, dryland farming, grazing and intensive farming along the river corridor
- tourism associated the River Murray and European history
- biodiversity conservation, including threatened species and ecological communities of national significance.
The main drivers of change to natural resources identified in the Lower Murray and Plains subregion are:
- economic impacts from market access, transport and input costs
- land use change driven by land affordability
- farm sizes increasing; growth of organic farming and precision agriculture
- increase in recreational/lifestyle landowners
- climate change.
Potential natural resource impacts of climate change projections in the Lower Murray and Plains subregion include:
- changed river flows and availability affecting water quality and in-stream habitat
- exposure of acid sulfate soils and the associated impact on water quality
- increased risk of fire
- decline in winter rainfall, increase in daily mean, minimum and maximum temperatures and increase in frequency of heatwaves affecting crop and pasture production, native vegetation, soil health and erosion risk
- potential for changes in pest plant and animal populations, including risk of plagues.
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