Letter sent to "The Land" today (and published on 18.03.10)
"The letter from SA Opposition River Murray spokesman Adrian Pederick (Lakes Always fresh-04.03.10)is a classic example of the misinformation peddled by S.A. politicians in the water debate. The Lower Lakes most certainly are "man-made evaporation pools" and it is an absolute disgrace that irrigators on the Murray are going to the wall from restricted allocations whilst we continue to send fresh water down and block salt water entering the lakes as it always did under natural conditions when river flows were low. The claimed historic "fresh water status of the lakes" is factually incorrect and is NOT supported by "most scientists who have examined them" -see the website lakesneedwater.org
Salt water has been known to come up as far as Mannum in times past, and that situation was not caused by excessive extractions, but low run-off. Just like in recent years. As for significant extractions in the 1800's -come off it. And don't forget we have had the Snowy diversions feeding the Murray and the Murrumbidgee since then.
Extractions are controlled by allocations. That is why the Government buying licenses will do nothing for our rivers when there are no, or low, allocations and will only constrain production when water is plentiful.
I am sorry to have to say so Mr Pederick, but the facts are that attempting to keep the Lower Lakes fresh at all times is quite unnatural and is "wasteful and selfish"and I think you know it. The problem is that such an admission may not attract many votes in S.A. Is there an election coming up?"