Between 1922 and 1939, weirs and locks were constructed along the River Murray to regulate its water level and river flow. They provide a raised water level upstream so that vessels can actually navigate the river. Bypassing the weirs, boats use the locks to move upstream and downstream. Water is also stored in the weir pools during the wet season and diverted for agricultural, domestic and industrial consumption when and where needed.
Out of the series of 14 weirs and locks along the river, six are located in South Australia between Lake Victoria and the Murray Mouth. Lake Victoria stores and regulates the flow of water into the state, and the barrages near Goolwa manage the flow through the Murray Mouth. Weir and lock 1, the first to be built, can be found at the Riverland township of Blanchetown. The other five weirs and locks are at Waikerie, Overland Corner, Bookpurnong, Renmark and Murtho.