08 December, 2010

Murray Darling Basin Plan

In a great article in the SMH on 4th December, Paul Myers wrote (extract):-
"Despite recent claims to the contrary, the authority had, at best, a vague responsibility to consider the economic and social impacts of its recommendations. Its priorities, put in place by Malcolm Turnbull as water minister, were environmental.

So it was little wonder that when, in early October, the authority suggested 27 to 37 per cent cuts in irrigation water entitlements - all for the environment - there was such a savage response. Previous cuts in groundwater use and surface irrigation in the past several years had already bitten hard.

Coupled with severely reduced allocations during the drought, it has slashed basin irrigation water use well below the authority's new recommended cap: to just 3492 gigalitres in 2008-09. It was 3141 gigalitres in 2007-08 and 4458 gigalitres in 2006-07.

This seems to prove that the current, much-maligned allocation system - whereby state water authorities decide how much of a licensee's entitlement can be used - is an effective self-correcting mechanism. This, however, is not the public perception, nor does it hold water with the authority, environmentalists, scientists and the former water minister, Wong, all of whom have been determined to slash irrigation entitlements."


Why are the MDBA,the scientists,environmentalists and politicians so set on this misguided path??
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