HARD TIMES: Irrigators across the country are being negatively affected by the plan, according to Helen Dalton and Debbie Buller.
In Menindee there are businesses for sale, an empty main street, dead vineyards and abandoned packing sheds.The Menindee Lakes are vast. The storage capacity is 1750GL. That’s larger than Blowering’s full capacity of 1628GL. The average depth is over sixmetres.We had been told it was complicated and that the people there are uncooperative. We had been told by the state that it was the Feds’ responsibility and vice versa.That was not what we found.
The people who live and work there, just like us, want to get on with their lives, provide for their families and maximise their contribution to the country.
What we witnessed is a stark example of the fundamental flaws in current water management of the Murray Darling Basin.In 2012 the Lakes and the Darling were full with enough water to manage these areas for years. In June 2013 large releases from the Lakes began and they continued until December 2013. It was an unrelenting drawdown of water from Lakes Wetherill and Parmaroo. By February 2014 the water levels had dropped below 480GL which triggered control from the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) across to the NSW State Government. What was left was mostly unusable water. In the space of sevenmonths, the MDBA and the NSW State Govt had splashed and trashed all the accessible water off to South Australia on top of an already swollen system.The Menindee Lakes and the Lower Darling are now suffering from a man-made drought and it is a distressing sight.
No more is this area one of our largest fish breeding habitats or home to hundreds of thousands of birds. The communities there are trying to cope with puddles of stagnant, stinking water and the NSW government is test drilling in the dry bed of Lake Menindee to find other water.Further downstream at Pooncarie, family farming businesses are in dire straits. Two narrow earthen banks costing a completely crazy $400,000each have been built across the river by the NSW State Governmentto hold back puddles of disgusting water. The rest of the lower Darling is bone dry.
It’s a triple bottom line fail.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.