All Australians can try their hand at being a river operator with the help of a new mobile game, Run the River. 

Run the River is a mobile game developed by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority to help educate students about balancing demands for water in a river system, the importance of good river management and some of the complexities of managing water for multiple purposes.

“This game is an interesting and interactive way to teach students about some of the challenges involved with managing water in a river system so that water needs of towns, industries and the environment are met,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.

“Each level of the game is based on a particular year in the Murray–Darling Basin’s climate history. It gives you the same weather conditions based on actual data; some drought years, some flood years and challenges you to manage the volume of water available that year.

“As you progress from one era to the next, the towns and demands get bigger, there are more farms, and your job of making sure everyone gets their share of water becomes a lot harder.

“It very much reflects the challenges we face in managing the Murray–Darling Basin; keeping the river and its ecosystems healthy and managing the Basin’s water sustainably so that we can continue to support the industries and communities relying on that water. These are really important lessons for our younger generation to learn.” 

As well as being engaging, the game has been designed to align with the outcomes of the Australian science curriculum.

“World Water Day, held on March 22 each year, is designed to highlight the importance of freshwater and sustainable management of freshwater resources,” said Senator Birmingham.

Senator Birmingham also joined students in other World Water Day activities at Questacon today, focusing on water management, water quality and salinity.

Parents and teachers interested in the Run the River mobile game can find the app available on the App Store and Google Play for Apple and Android phones and tablet devices.