Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Response to the Draft Murray-Darling plan

By Various experts

The Draft Murray-Darling Basin plan has been released.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The Draft Murray-Darling Basin plan has been released and is proposing water use cuts of 2750 GL/year. The plan is based on the premise that the maximum amount of water that can be removed for irrigation, agriculture and drinking water, whilst remaining environmentally sustainable, is 10,873 GL/year.

The draft plan is available online on the Murray-Darling Basin Authority website (http://www.mdba.gov.au/draft-basin-plan/draft-basin-plan-for-consultation). The plan is now open for 20 weeks of consultation.

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“When the MDBA commissioned me to examine the social impacts on the Lower Murray and Lakes communities of low flows and drought in 2011, I was confronted with irrigation farmers who had completely lost access to fresh (ish) water from 2007 to 2009. They hadn’t been compensated for giving up part of their water licence, they literally could not pump any water from the River or groundwater. Before the crisis they had access to fresh (ish) water because they were at the bottom of a river system over 1500 km long, draining soils which contain substantial remnant salt deposits, and water which had already been used and re-used many times over.

As this extreme social...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Source: AusSMC