Call to keep water where it is most useful

By Country News on May 04, 2017
  • Call to keep water where it is most useful

    The South Australian Government is pushing for more water down the Murray for the lake when this is counter to its historical needs.

Numurkah farmer and irrigator Rob Watson agreed with Barry Croke’s concerns about the transfer of water to less viable farming zones downstream.

‘‘Evaporation rates can be extremely high in places like Robinvale, but the Murray-Darling Basin Authority doesn’t account for the evaporation loss in getting water down there,’’ Mr Watson said.

He said irrigation use should be confined to regions closer to the source.

As for regulating the movement of water to other downstream regions, and the argument that the free market should dictate the movement of water, Mr Watson said the free market was not always the best way to manage scarce resources.

Mr Watson is critical of the push to deliver more water to South Australia for the Coorong, a long, narrow lagoon running parallel with the coast which the Murray River empties into.

According to the Federal Government: ‘‘Extracting high volumes of water for human consumption has left insufficient water for the environment.

‘‘More recently, extended drought and the early impacts of climate change have added to the site’s ecological stress.’’

But Mr Watson said the Murray flows into Lake Alexandrina, then into the Coorong.

‘‘This is an estuarine lake, which has been turned into a freshwater lake.’’

He is concerned the South Australian Government is pushing for more water down the Murray for the lake when this is counter to its historical needs.

By Country News on May 04, 2017
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