European Use of the MDB

By Maddie

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The first european settlers arrived in 1788. After being restricted to land for many years they sought to expand their colony eventually finding what is now known as the Murray River (stretching 2580 km). The first people to discover the Murray River were Hamilton Hume and William Hovell on the 16th of November 1824.

How the MDB was used

The MDB was first used by settlers for transportation. In 1853 the first iron paddle steamers were created as the Governor of South Australia offered an award for the first steam boat to travel from Goolwa to the Darling Junction. The gold discoveries of the 1850s brought a huge population growth to the area leading to widespread agricultural development.

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Europeans Effect on the MDB

European's way of life had a massive impact on the environments natural resources. The lack of knowledge about the environment lead to many problems including rising salinity due to vegetation clearances and poor water quality due to water pollution.


  • Almost the entire basin had been explored within 50 years of its discovery
  • In the 1900s Europeans cut down 15 million trees.