Sub­mis­sion crit­i­cal of basin flow mon­i­tor­ing

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

The Vic­to­rian En­vi­ron­men­tal Wa­ter Holder must be trans­par­ently ac­count­able with all de­ci­sion mak­ing and re­port­ing on en­vi­ron­men­tal flows and must be an­swer­able to the con­se­quences of those de­ci­sions ac­cord­ing to Jan Beer and Ken Pat­ti­son, who have made a joint sub­mis­sion to the com­mit­tee.

Mrs Beer and Mr Pat­ti­son said there were not enough mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems to man­age flows.

‘‘Mil­lions of dol­lars have been spent on re­cov­er­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter through so­called ‘wa­ter-sav­ing’ projects or Com­mon­wealth buy-back, but there sim­ply are not the op­er­at­ing tools in place and real-time mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems to man­age flows in the pre­cise man­ner that is re­quired or should be ex­pected in light of the mas­sive ex­pen­di­ture in­volved of pub­lic monies,’’ the sub­mis­sion said.

‘‘Even af­ter nearly five years of the start of the Mur­rayDar­ling Basin Plan, there are still no real-time mon­i­tor­ing teleme­try gauges on many of the trib­u­taries, for ex­am­ple over 50 per cent of the Yea River Catch­ment is un­gauged, nor are crit­i­cal points on the up­stream Goul­burn Catch­ment gauged.

‘‘Real-time mon­i­tor­ing is so badly lack­ing, that man­age­ment of flows at best must be sim­ply guess­work.

‘‘It is sim­ply im­pos­si­ble to ac­count for re­turn flows with any ac­cu­racy with the tools cur­rently avail­able, and the VEWH must be asked to ex­plain in ex­plicit de­tail how these above fig­ures have been cal­cu­lated, as in my opin­ion they are noth­ing but a ‘guessti­mate’.’’

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