Over the last decade the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and its predecessors have made significant investments in remote sensing and related technologies in the development of the Basin Plan, and the delivery of numerous projects and programs.
While the benefits of remote sensing technologies have long been recognised by the MDBA, and have been incorporated into many existing monitoring programs, the full capabilities over a range of spatial and temporal scales have not yet been entirely embraced within a holistic monitoring framework.
This independent review has highlighted significant potential for remote sensing and related technologies to play a greater role in the MDBA’s operations, and in many cases, to provide a more cost-effective, efficient and transparent means of achieving specific business and information needs.
Key findings of the report include
- For the potential of remote sensing to be fully realised its use must be placed within the broader context of a whole-of-basin monitoring plan, and adaptive management system
- There are significant opportunities for existing state and national programs to address MDBA business needs
- There are a number of existing methodologies and datasets that could be extended to produce consistent remotely sensed products across the Basin
- Long term commercial service level agreements may offer more cost-effective and efficient mechanisms for acquiring and processing data related to specific events within the basin
- Rapidly emerging capabilities require an ongoing commitment to applied research and development to realise the full potential of remote sensing in relation to MDBA business and information needs
Importantly, there is no single solution and remote sensing technology must be employed in the context of an overarching strategic framework that addresses internal and external needs and reporting requirements. It also requires a commitment to a suite of technologies, infrastructures, methods, skills and knowledge (i.e. people) to take full advantage of available opportunities, now and into the future.