Friday, September 30, 2022



Strategy Group’s ‘positive’ meeting with Minister

The Murray Regional Strategy Group (MRSG) has been buoyed by positive engagement with new federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek ...MRSG Chair, Geoff Moar, said it was a positive meeting and that, “We felt we covered more ground today than we have in a very long time ... The minister understands that we do not support more water buybacks from our region, and also acknowledged there are a number of problems which need a flexible approach if they are going to be fixed.”

Build it and they will come: freshwater anglers to reap rewards of fish habitat trial: FRDC

Log cabins and synthetic trees are part of a successful trial of fish-attracting structures in Queensland which could be just the boon freshwater fishers have been angling for ... the dam stretches over 500 hectares and the hunting ground was too spread out, the fish too hard to find.

Governments risk repeated ‘preventable’ flooding: NSW Farmers

Farmers in the state’s south say water authorities are failing to prepare for severe flood risks in the Murray Valley as La Nina conditions threaten to fill major dams and rivers. NSW Farmers Conservation and Resource Management Committee chair Louise Burge said while authorities may not be able to prevent all risks of flooding this year, they should “absolutely” avoid making flooding conditions even more extreme.

Dartmouth Dam to spill for the first time in 26 years: MDBA

After hovering around 99% capacity for 4 weeks, the largest water storage in the Murray–Darling Basin is expected to be flowing over the spillway tomorrow thanks to inflows from last weekend's rain. MDBA Senior Director of River Management, Joe Davis said water would begin flowing over the Dartmouth Dam spillway at low rates and contribute minor flows to the Mitta Mitta River downstream, with water also still being released through the valves at the base of the dam.

Dung beetles delivering healthier waterways: Shing

Victorian citizen scientists are helping to keep our waterways clean and healthy with an innovative new program using insects to stop nutrient run-off from farms ... The breeding program was established 12 months ago and includes a network of 16 dung beetle ‘nurseries’ on Landcare and farming properties in the Macedon Ranges, Nillumbik Shire, Western Port and the Mornington Peninsula.

Could these hydropanels be a game changer in Cape?

A pilot program in Mapoon has implemented climate-resilient drinking water technology. The council has partnered with Source Global to deliver a resilient, sustainable, and off-grid drinking water solution for locals. Ten hydropanels were installed behind the new cultural centre to make clean, safe drinking water.

Darling/Baaka sacrificed for northern irrigators

‘The NSW Coalition and the Shooters Fishers Farmers Party have condemned the Darling/Baaka to longer periods of dry riverbed with stagnant slimy pools. This decline in river health started when floodplain harvesting exploded upstream during the 1990’s. The NSW Government has rewarded decades of unsustainable and unregulated water use with new licences while conducting no assessment of the downstream impacts on Darling/Baaka communities, native fish populations, groundwater recharge and important wetland areas’: Brian Stevens, spokesperson for Inland Rivers Network.

Aboriginal Elder calls for greater consultation on water

The Department of Planning and Environment has had more than 100 interactions with First Nations people on environmental water, including Wiradjuri elder Michael Lyons, of Narrandera. Mr Lyons said one per cent of water in the Murrumbidgee River was allocated to Aboriginal people for cultural or environmental use and there needed to be improved communication about where that allocated water ended up.

Eroding confidence

When I think of tragedy and tales of woe, it is hard not to go past history’s greats like Romeo and Juliet, but Australia as a nation is penning an even more tragic story, one sadly not confined to fiction ... With water or the environment not being big enough portfolios for the Albanese Government to separate, Tanya Plibersek has the job of forcing Southern Basin communities to swallow the pill promised to South Australia in the federal election.

River People’s Forum

A diverse range of views were heard at the River People’s Forum held in Swan Hill on September 2. What do we want our river communities and river to look like? What is the balance between regulated flows and floods and natural ones? Do we want concrete giants like the KP regulators? Nothing was out of bounds.

Erosion explosion

No action has been taken to address the explosion of erosion through hundreds of kilometres of Australia’s most iconic river, the Murray. The erosion is consuming red gum forests, one of which is RAMSAR listed, as well as compromising bank integrity, with floods looming. Private infrastructure is also being impacted with pump sheds, fences, lawns and watering systems all falling prey to hydraulic land clearing.

Walcha one step closer to improved water security: Anderson

A new 300 megalitre off-stream storage dam at Walcha will provide greater water security and reliability for residents and businesses and to help drought-proof the town’s water supply ... The new 300 megalitre off-creek storage dam is being built on a small tributary of the MacDonald River, 16 kilometres from the existing water treatment infrastructure.

Drought proofing the central west: NSW Gov’t

The NSW Government is investing $22 million to make the Parkes/Peak Hill Water Supply Project a reality and to help future proof the region’s water supply ... the $61.7 million major infrastructure project will strengthen water security for the shire and bolster the region’s drought resilience by creating a new raw water supply network for residents and businesses.: Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole

Underwater drone inspects Tweed’s water reservoirs – New drone technology saving Council time and money

Drone technology is being used to inspect the Tweed’s 40 water reservoirs, saving Council time and money. The new technology has been introduced in recent weeks as a way to more easily scan for information about the structure and quality of the water held in each reservoir ... “We can now conduct inspections of the reservoirs ourselves, on the ground, straight away and at very low cost,”: Water and Wastewater operations manager Brie Jowett

Labor’s latest political appointment spells trouble for the Murray-Darling Basin: Centofanti and Whetstone

Mr Beasley’s divisive and abrasive approach to the River Murray is illustrated in his 2021 book, Dead In The Water ... "A successful advocacy role in the Murray-Darling Basin requires having the confidence of the Basin communities – which include irrigators, other businesses, and the public. I’m not convinced that appointing a Sydney lawyer, who believes water buybacks are the only way forward, will wash with these communities" : Opposition Minister for Water Resources and the River Murray Nicola Centofanti.

Prominent barrister named first SA Commissioner for the River Murray: Close

Prominent barrister and author, Richard Beasley SC, has been appointed South Australia’s Commissioner for the River Murray ... "Having a Commissioner for the River Murray sends a clear message to upstream states that South Australia is serious about defending its water rights, including the 450 gigalitres promised but not delivered": SA Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, Susan Close MP

Ultimate authority

There has been much said about the Murray-Darling Basin Authority over the 10 years of Basin Plan implementation ... The latest attempt by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to justify the hydraulic land clearing and loss of capacity of the Murray River needs to be called out for what it is – mismanagement in breach of the 2007 Water Act.

Reconnecting River Country Program

A plan to have community at the forefront of co-design was the feature of Western Murray Land Improvement Group’s (WMLIG) Reconnecting River Country Program (RRCP) Wakool presentation ... During the night, attendees were walked through the RRCP mapping tool. The maps are generated through computer modelling for various flow options from 15,000 megalitres per day up to 40,000ML/D.

Mildura Weir to be removed to make way for high river flows: MDBA, GMW

The Mildura weir will be temporarily removed to allow high Murray River flows to pass through, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority and Goulburn-Murray Water announced.  MDBA Executive Director of River Management Andrew Reynolds said the weir needed to be removed ahead of increased flows expected to arrive by mid-September.

Labor must take community views on EP desalination plant seriously: Telfer, Centofanti

Labor will put the future of the Eyre Peninsula at risk if it does not seriously consider the recommendations of the independent Eyre Peninsula Desalination Plant Site Selection Committee ... At the time the Committee was formed, there were serious environmental and economic concerns raised by industry and the local community about the proposed plant location at Billy Lights Point.

TRC, LGI inspect cost-saving generator for energy re-use at Wetalla wastewater treatment plant

Toowoomba Regional Council’s ambitious and cost-saving plan to power most of the city’s wastewater treatment plant with gas captured from the city’s nearby landfill is a step closer to reality ... Cr Sommerfield said the energy re-use project would allow the gas-fired generator to supply up to 70% of the power to run the Wetalla Water Reclamation Facility, along with ongoing environmental benefits.

Water collaborative calls for recycled water to boost economy

The Lockyer Valley and Somerset Water Collaborative is calling on the State Government to release the available supply of untapped recycled water to ensure water and food security for Australia’s Salad Bowl, preventing future supply being imported canned vegetables.

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