Ceremony Marks "Death" of Australia's Greatest River
















Ceremony Marks "Death" of Australia's Greatest River

Thousands of people rallied in southern Australia Sunday to protest the dwindling water levels in one of the country's greatest rivers, claiming the loss was causing an environmental disaster.
The 5,000-strong crowd gathered near the mouth of the 2,530 kilometre (1,569 mile) Murray to hold two minute's silence to mark the 'death' of the river, which forms part of Australia's most important agricultural region.

Kym McHugh, mayor of the local Alexandrina Council, said the ceremony near the South Australian town of Goolwa was to "underscore this eleventh hour bid to save the nation's greatest river." "It sent a very clear message by saying we've had a lot of talk about the river system, a lot of science, we all know what the problem is -- we just want politicians to have the will to fix it up," he told national news agency AAP.

"They need to secure water upstream and send it down."

Water levels are so low in the Murray River, due to drought and irrigation, that the freshwater lakes the river feeds into are turning to acid.

The federal government last week said there was not enough water in the system to save the freshwater lakes, leading to suggestions that ocean water could be used to prevent the lakes from drying out.

But the council wants the government to release water held in storage in upstream states into the river so it can flow down and prevent an environmental, economic and social disaster in the region.

"We need to give these lakes another chance," McHugh said.

The Murray, along with the 2,740-kilometre Darling River and 1,690-kilometre Murrumbidgee River, form the Murray Darling Basin, which accounts for some 40 percent of the nation's agricultural production.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a tragedy. All it would take is the political will to save the Murray-Darling basin and yet it is left to die? The Australian government must act now to save this great river. Anything less is immoral. I thought Kevin Rudd would do the right thing. I am disappointed to see it come to this. What are people thinking? This river basin supplies 40% of their agricultural production. Just how do they expect their people to live?

Australia's Epic Drought-The Situaiton is Grim

I posted this in April of last year... and this is where we are today. Anyone who does not believe that climate change is now upon us is simply living in denial. This is why I am disappointed in Kevin Rudd. The first order of business for him after being elected to replace John Howard was to have Australia sign the Kyoto Treaty. So why is the great Murray Darling basin being left to die?

We really better start getting serious now about connecting the dots between the climate crisis and the global water crisis. This tragedy is just a foretaste of what will come should we continue to sit and wait for "political will" to lead us. It must be MORAL will that now takes over for the sake of our planet and ourselves.

Will I be sitting here in another year reading and writing about another tragedy like this in Africa, Asia, South America or even in America? I surely hope not.


UPDATE:

Outrage Over Paroo River Diversions

Excerpt:

The Queensland Government is facing accusations that it has allowed a large dam and diversion channels along the Paroo River.

Satellite images reveal a dam and more than 10 kilometres of channels have been built along the river on the Queensland-New South Wales border, despite a moratorium stopping any development.

The moratorium was imposed by the Queensland Government in the middle of 2001, to stop the building of dams, levees and channels on the Paroo River.

But satellite images taken in July 2002 and June 2008 reveal that storage dams and water diversions have been built since.

Richard Kingsford from the University of New South Wales says the moratorium has failed.

"This essentially does breach that agreement because it does allow for water to be diverted out of the flood plain for irrigation," he said.

end of excerpt

It appears the Queensland govt has allowed the building of dams and diverting water from this region in spite of a moratorium placed on such construction. I suppose the Aral Sea doesn't ring a bell to these people?

UPDATE:

Rudd Government Looking To Buy Back Water Rights to Send Water Downstream

Is it too late? It may just be, and this is truly sad.

Comments

Michelle Maddox said…
The water crisis is global and the government does not seem to have the ability to use a firm hand with water policy. For example, I live in California and I just attended the global peace prayer meeting called Earth Dance. At this celebration natural wells had enough water to keep 1,000 of people hydrated. But water was sold in plastic bottles imported from Australia! Not only is plastic involved, which need to be put to an end but petroleum was used to import it! ANd from a country with a draught!! WHO IS OVERSEEING WATER?