Coming Up Wed 1:00 PM  AEST
Coming Up Live in 
Live
NITV Radio

Next federal election could be a referendum on Murray-Darling Basin

Water management to become election issue Source: J. Latimore

Academics issue a warning about Australia’s largest water body, the Murray Darling Basin, as its ecosystem is under significant stress due to adverse management and extreme weather conditions.

With record breaking temperatures registered in many parts of Australia in the last few months alone there is a growing sense the upcoming federal election could be a referendum about climate change and the Murray darling Basin (MDB) in particular.

University of South Australia’s Professor Lin Crase says the shortcomings of the current MDB management could turn catastrophic if, as widely predicted, hotter, drier weather patterns escalate over coming years.

There is hope in the upcoming federal elections campaign water management will be highly debated and solutions will be proposed.

“The system is already vulnerable in numerous places and will be sorely tested with climate change,” Prof Crase says.

“A 10 per cent reduction in rain equates to a 30 percent reduction in stream flow, so if the system is already weakened by poor water management, it is unlikely to do well in the future.”  

The academic highlights that  the Current MDB policy is built around spending public money to buy more efficient irrigation equipment for MDB farmers in the belief that if less water is ‘wasted’ in maintaining crops, more water will be left in the river system.

Professor Crase says, research strongly suggests this policy is built on a false premise. Studies conducted around the planet demonstrate that, somewhat counter-intuitively, improving irrigation efficiency actually reduces water flow in a river system.

The alternative is to stop investing public money in irrigation infrastructure, and instead, use those funds to essentially pay farmers not to irrigate, leaving the water in the river system, known as water buyback. 

 

 

Coming up next

# TITLE RELEASED TIME MORE
Next federal election could be a referendum on Murray-Darling Basin 08/04/2019 08:47 ...
M’ap Boulé : the story of a Haitian-Australian woman growing up on the stolen land of Australia 12/04/2021 11:31 ...
Our Story Podcast – Leah Cameron, driven by a philosophy of doing law differently 05/04/2021 17:09 ...
Science & Technology - Episode 18 30/03/2021 10:58 ...
Where's our Water? – A new book about valuing water for primary school children 30/03/2021 15:58 ...
Gung | create, make, do, love - from the archives to artworks 26/03/2021 10:10 ...
Missile Park, new major exhibition by Yhonnie Scarce 26/03/2021 10:01 ...
Science & Technology - Episode 17 25/03/2021 10:06 ...
Our Story Podcast - Kutcha Edwards, survivor gifted with a voice and will-power to inspire 24/03/2021 15:48 ...
MAIN ABIJA - MY GRANDAD book out now 22/03/2021 11:58 ...
View More