Friday, 20 January 2012

Dependence on generous environmental flows for environmental survival and South Australia at the journey's end

The document below is not new. It is a report for the old Murray-Darling Basin Commission and published in 2000.

However, as we embark on the downhill run to the April close of submissions on the Proposed Basin Plan for the Murray-Darling Basin, the issue of flows is paramount. Not to put too fine a point on the matter, in spite of us living in the 21st century, it is not clear that we have left behind 19th century attitudes on the Murray-Darling Basin and its catchments and its rivers and waterways. Water decisions in this country still involve money, power and agricultural development interests.

South Australia is the neighbour at the bottom of the river. Its capital city, Adelaide, is the only capital dependent on the Murray-Darling for its drinking water. There has also been, in recent decades, great degradation in the iconic Coorong.

 Maria Reidl has sent this document to me and I think it is pertinent as we consider how to push for greater environmental flows than the irrigators want, as well as more water at the end of the rivers' journeys for those who need to survive in the city, in the country, and in their dependence on environmental water.

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