Understanding water in a dry continent

NSW Department of Industry; Murray–Darling Basin Authority

Ensuring the most efficient use of our water resources is vital in Australia the driest inhabited continent on Earth. 

To help government, industry and communities to understand our water needs and processes, Biotext has worked with government departments and agencies to develop clear content and communication tools.

For example, the NSW Department of Industry is developing regional water strategies to guide the more efficient use of water throughout the state. For the first of these strategies, the department wanted to ensure that the final document was as clear and engaging as possible, to meet the needs of industry and community members. Biotext took the existing scientific report and transformed it into a well-designed document with clear messages supported by good evidence.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) works with industry, irrigators, local communities, First Nations and governments to sustainably  manage water resources in the Murray Darling–Basin.  It’s important that audiences understand key processes in the MDBA’s water management strategies. The MDBA wanted an infographic to explain how river flows and connectivity affect ecosystems and river functions, to be used in a key strategy document and in public presentations. We worked with the MDBA team to translate complex information and data into an accurate and engaging infographic.

Thanks again for translating the complex Venn diagram into this much more appealing figure! We think it will be used again and again for a multitude of purposes.

MDBA client

A key responsibility of the MDBA is to manage water resources for the health of the environment, as outlined in the Basin Plan (2012). We worked with the MDBA to develop a plain English guide to help stakeholders understand the legislation. This included analysing the legislation and existing information, understanding the roles and information needs of key stakeholders, and translating the legislation into language suitable for a range of audiences including state governments and First Nations and community groups involved in providing water for the environment. We also developed a suite of diagrams and infographics to clearly portray the roles and relationships of the MDBA and state governments, and help explain the processes outlined in the legislation. The Guide to the Environmental Watering Plan was published on the MDBA’s website and printed for consultation with stakeholders.

Biotext had an exceptional eye for detail and follow through for the entire project. and adapted well to our internal communications team needs and style conventions

MDBA client

This work builds on numerous other water projects we have completed for the MDBA and other clients – for example, writing, editing and developing infographics for MDBA reach reports, writing and editing a report on the River Murray Decision Support System, and writing and editing a report on the development and evaluation of the ecological elements method for adjusting the MDBA sustainable diversion limit.

Our role:

Content strategy and analysis – we worked with business stakeholders to understand their requirements, analysed draft content and developed new structures and communication methods to better meet user needs

Writing and editing – we rewrote content to make it clearer and more understandable for the general community and specific audiences, and developed summaries to bring together the key messages

Design and infographics – we developed design concepts to present information clearly and engage audiences, analysed existing graphs and developed more effective ways to present complex datasets and information, and developed engaging infographics to explain complex processes