17 October, 2010

Irrigation

Letter published in The Weekend Australian on 16th October:
In your front page today (Heated backlash Forces Murray inquiry) you categorically state that:
"The move to reduce water usage is an attempt to address the fact that states have sold irrigators licences to extract so much water from the system that not enough water is being left in the rivers to preserve the environment."
This statement is factually incorrect. No water can be extracted by irrigators holding licenses unless the use of those licenses has been triggered by the State Governments applying  seasonal allocations. Allocations are only granted after assessed environmental needs have been met. The problem in much of the last ten drought years has been that there has been no water for the process to even begin. Irrigators are being blamed for Nature's failure, until recently, to send enough rain to cause run-off into our waterways. No wonder they are upset. 
David Boyd,St Ives,NSW
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