Thursday, May 26, 2022



MDBA starts dam releases

To demonstrate the magnitude of ignorance, look no further than the coffers of Australia’s largest irrigator, the taxpayer funded Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH). For the 2021-22 season, the CEWH has a total of 2,365,000 megalitres – 1,640,000 in new allocation and 725,000 in carryover from the year previous – 1,030,400 of that in the Murray system. As of March 31, 2022, the CEWH had used 492,200 megalitres in the Murray system for the 2021-22 season.

‘Day of reckoning’ is fast approaching: Speak Up

“It is impossible for this to be achieved by 2024. So, what happens then? Will we have huge volumes of water sitting in dams supposedly for ‘environmental use’ that cannot be released because it won’t fit down the system, but not enough water allocated to growing the food and fibre our nation needs? Under this scenario, regional communities will continue to suffer, and every Australian will be hit by increased cost of living" : Speak Up Chair, Shelley Scoullar.

Geophysical surveys to locate critical minerals across NSW: Toole

A new series of NSW Government funded geophysical surveys will take place in the state’s Central West, New England and Far West to gather detailed information that will help to uncover valuable critical minerals buried deep underground ... “Exploration programs today may lead to a critical minerals project in five to ten years that employs locals and plays a vital role in the manufacturing supply chain for products such as batteries, electric vehicles, and renewables" : Paul Toole.

Selecting an appropriate baseline: Frank Batini

If we wish to compare current observations with past performance, we need to establish a set of relevant data, or baseline ... Water Corporation’s advertisements claim that “Perth’s rainfall is declining due to Climate change” showing a graph of reduced stream-flows into the reservoirs as convincing proof that “Climate change is real”. Such claims deserve scrutiny.

Sewage solution lights up Logan’s carbon ambitions

Logan City Council has opened an innovative new facility that turns human waste into energy and fertiliser ... The facility, which is the first of its kind in Australia, blasts sewage with extremely high heat to turn it into a product called biochar. Biochar can be used for a variety of purposes including as a fertiliser for the agricultural industry. It also has potential applications in the building industry.

Labor pains

Countless reports, ‘engagement’, reviews and the rapid erosion of the river have highlighted all these failings, yet a potential prime minister appears oblivious to the geographical diversity of issues, constraints and environments across the basin. With city centric politics appearing more interested in getting elected, what hope does the health of our basin have?

Build policy on solutions, not winning votes: Speak Up

The community-based Speak Up Campaign has joined the growing list of organisations expressing concern at last week’s Labor Party announcement around implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. In particular is the issue of water buybacks, which Labor’s Shadow Water Minister Terri Butler conceded, “If we have to” was “an option that will have to be pursued.”

Reboot your soils

“Despite all our achievements, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact it rains.” A quote often attributed to long time US radio presenter, Paul Harvey, this quote succinctly captures the critical importance of our topsoil. What is topsoil, how is it formed and how do we improve it?

Water fight risks real damage: NSW Farmers

"There are real opportunities to deliver environmental outcomes to the river system without reducing production. I would call on both sides to put aside the political point scoring around who's tougher on water, and instead build upon the opportunities in the basin plan that have been hard fought but are still yet incomplete": Richard Bootle, NSW Farmers Water Taskforce Chair.

Australian producers are still worried about water – interview with Andrew Coppin, CEO, Farmbot

According to a recent survey by Farmbot of farmers across Australia, their two primary concerns are poor phone reception and a need to manually check water points ... ARR.News asks a few questions of Andrew Coppin, founder and CEO of Farmbot, provider of remote water monitoring solutions.

Labor affirms its decision to remove another 450 gigalitres of water from irrigation use: The Riverina State

Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party have affirmed their decision to remove another 450 gigalitres of water, in addition to the 2750 gigalitres already removed via the Basin Plan, from productive use in NSW and Victoria. Most, if not all, of this water will be sourced from The Riverina and northern Victoria.

Jobs to go under Albanese’s water plan: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has warned that jobs across regional Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia will be lost if Anthony Albanese’s policy for water recovery is implemented under the Murray Darling Basin Plan. VFF President Emma Germano said Federal Labor’s five-point policy showed a total misunderstanding of the Basin Plan and a total disregard for jobs in regional communities.

Labor’s plan to future-proof Australia’s water resources: Albanese

An Albanese Labor Government will protect Australia’s precious water resources with a five-point plan for the Murray Darling Basin that strikes the right balance between the needs of local communities, farmers and the environment ... Labor will deliver on the final 450 gigalitres (GL) of water for the environment that Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce have failed to deliver.

Forecast of low prices, more certainty for southern Basin irrigators

Water allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin are likely to remain low for a third consecutive year, according to the latest ABARES Water Market Outlook.

Stories to tell of ways with water

Alison Bennett Taylor. Waterways producer/director Nari Lees says everyone has a story to tell about their connection to Denmark’s waterways – the river, the inlet and the sea. She hopes to capture as many of them on film as she can during the still days of autumn. Waterways, Love Stories of Place, will share stories of connection to place through an interactive walk featuring QR codes that link directly to the recordings.

Groundwater – making the invisible visible: BoM

BOM Blog. Groundwater – more literally, underground water – accounts for approximately 30% of Australia's water use. But because it can't be seen like rivers and lakes, many people don't know about it. So how can we 'see' this important but invisible resource?

2022 Budget: Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association

When it comes to the big-ticket items for Tasmania the federal budget doesn’t meet Tasmania’s needs for agriculture. The infrastructure spend on water and roads only provides small change for Tasmania. Water is 0.18% of national spending and roads are 0.55%.

Mundaring Weir and the pipeline to Kalgoorlie: Frank Batini

This remarkable project was, at the time, the longest water pipeline ever constructed in the world. Inspired by C Y O’Connor, the Chief Engineer for the Public Works Department, supported by J. Forrest, the Premier and costing an eye-watering 2.5 million pounds of borrowed money, the work was completed in early 1903 when the first pump was turned on. Water arrived in Kalgoorlie two days later.

Restdown’s sustainable tourism recognised

Jo and Don Hearn from Restdown Winery and Jungle Lane Beef Co and their business were recently recognised as part of Tourism Australia’s new international marketing campaign on sustainable tourism, and Tourism NSW has also included them in the top 10 things to do along the Murray River, alongside the iconic Mungo National Park.

Ocean-based Carbon Markets Australia and New Zealand – webinar, 28 March 2022

Researchers, Investors, Project Developers and industry participants all play an important role to scale up ocean carbon project development that will bring new innovation to enable large scale emissions reduction, plus many co-benefits such as biodiversity and jobs.

Monitoring the effects of wildfire on water, vegetation and biodiversity: Frank Batini

The very large wildfire in the Perth hills catchments in January 2005 had the potential for severe consequences on water quality in domestic water supply reservoirs ... full recovery will take some decades. This large fire was eventually contained when it reached areas that had been prescribed burnt and carried low fuels.

I’m still lost

For a moment, can we establish that if I was to save the environment it would require a net benefit? This means that I save more environment than I destroy, the environmental assets and ecosystem function are greater than the baseline of where we began. In watching Australia’s water policy develop, be implemented and progress, I often find myself lost or searching for some understanding of how we got here. “We wonder why a frog near a coal mine is environmental matter of national significance, yet a 47,000 hectare wetland is not. 220,000 bird movements a year is a national treasure and now the testimony in this place is the state and federal governments are going to murder Menindee,” was a question put forward by Senator Malcolm Roberts at a recent Federal Estimates hearing on water.

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