22 October, 2010

Murray Darling Basin

Letter published in "The Land" on Thursday,21st October-
Peppercorn really hits the nail on the head with his thoughtful and sensible column 'Nature shows up flawed water plan-The Land October14",with, in particular, his comment on managing seasonal allocations rather than buying Licenses/Entitlements. The "Plan" is deeply flawed. It fails to recognise the massive variability of our river flows, the extent to which irrigation diversions have been constrained through a run of very dry years, and the appalling waste of water through evaporation from the Lower Lakes which have been closed off from the sea for some seventy years. The Plan effectively blames irrigators for the fact that our rivers have had drought induced low flows for much of the last ten years. The terms "license", "entitlement" and "allocation" are constantly confused in the metropolitan media coverage.

Few people recognise that if it were not for the headwater dams (Dartmouth and Hume in particular), the Snowy diversions and restrictions on irrigation diversions, the Murray would have stopped flowing altogether some three/four years ago. Surely this is evidence to the fact that we need to conserve more water in the big events by building more dams in appropriate places. 

David Boyd,Sydney.
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