Let The River Run
The Lower Darling had been consistently reliable before 2008 and has been depleting rapidly since, until now it is mostly empty. Of course the politicians blame it all on the drought and big cotton say it has nothing to do with them, even though cotton production substantially increased during the 2010 - 2014 period, about the time of a dramatic decrease of flows down stream below the cotton farms. The cotton industry produced about 4 million tones of cotton across the Murray/Darling, so at about 8 ML of water per tone of cotton produced equals about 32000 GL of water used in that four year period, about quarter of the total Murray Darling Basin water supply, just for one type of crop. I am not sure of the percentage of cotton production on the Darling, but I think cotton must have used most of the water that come down the Barwon Darling. During the 2015 - 2018 period water extraction from the Barwon Darling increased substantially, via political means, to such a ridiculous level, that no water at all was coming down past Bourke during that period, this was when the big corporate irrigators got really greedy and selfish.
You know they like to carry on about the water evaporation of the Menindee Lakes, MDBA estimate at 300 GL per year is lost through evaporation and seepage, well that is what lakes are supposed to do for the benefit of the environment, helping to create more localised rain events and replenishing underground streams, creating a huge ecosystem for birds, animals, food production, tourism, employment and the livelihoods of hundreds of people. So what benefit does holding huge storages of water in sterile private dams (that also evaporate and seep) have compared to the Menindee Lakes system, none, just a huge financial gain for a very small number of irrigators.
Ok lets look at the effects of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, which was passed into law in 2012, in that time the Menindee lakes had been drained twice and a 500 million dollar pipeline was built from Wentworth to Broken Hill, to supposedly provide an urgently needed supply of water to Broken Hill as the Menindee Lakes could no longer provide the supply. Well it wouldn’t be able to because an idiotic half whited bureaucracy systematically drain the supply, on purpose, for no logical reason, in a short time, even though there had been two floods down the Murray River, which mostly went out to sea.
• Strong and vibrant communities with sufficient water of a suitable quality for drinking and domestic uses (including in times of drought), as well as for cultural and recreational purposes. BIG FAIL
• Productive and resilient industries that have long-term confidence in their future, particularly for food and fibre production. MOSTLY FAIL, I think they must have meant that cotton will be the main industry for the Darling, as they have mostly killed the food one off.
• Healthy and diverse ecosystems with rivers regularly connected to their creeks, billabongs and floodplains. HUGE FAIL
It has definitely been a total failure so far, especially for the Darling, the Communities, Industries and Ecosystems along the entire Darling Barka. All the MDBP has done is the opposite, destroyed it. The people who run this plan do not know what they are doing, I have no confidence in them and I am sure nobody else does except for big agribusiness corporations and their political mates.
An Independent at arms length, No Political Interference, full on Royal Commission is definitely required and I know why they do not want one because the LNP have too much to hide along with their corporate mates. Just like Helen Dalton MP is trying to get a disclosure and a public register of who owns the water and how much they own, especially politicians and the big corporate operators, of course, the LNP did not like this and went all shaky in the knees and tried to discredit Helen Dalton, how pathetic is that, what do they have to hide.