The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists checked how much water flowed past 27 river gauges across the Murray-Darling Basin compared to how much was expected from Basin Plan modelling.
They found that even after accounting for dry conditions, in the seven years since the Basin Plan came into effect, far less water was observed than expected.
More than 1200 billion litres failed to reach the South Australian border every year.
Co-author Professor Jamie Pittock from the Australian National University says South Australia is the big loser out of this” because we’re missing out on an enormous amount of water.
“Every South Australian should be concerned,” he said.
“It’s not just a portion of the water supplied to Adelaide, it’s also the health of the riverland, of the irrigation sector, of the red gum forests, the Coorong and the Lower Lakes that’s impacted by this poor management.”