Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Wake up, give us more water

- Dear Editor,

At the time of writing, Hume Dam was at 92 per cent (capacity) and Menindee Lakes at 80 per cent.

We have an abundance of water flowing down the Murray River, to the point where 45 gates are open at the barrages, with massive volumes of water pouring out to sea being wasted.

It will only take one big rain event for Hume to spill and we risk another catastroph­ic flood event, with prediction­s that the Menindee Lakes will fill by October.

Yet the humble food producers closest to the storages are told they are getting a mere 30 per cent water allocation, and don’t expect much if very little more.

Can I be excused for thinking our bureaucrac­y and government­s have gone totally mad?

In a supposedly civilized country, how can we waste massive volumes of water through transmissi­on to the sea and have it sit in dams for evaporatio­n, then tell our most efficient farmers they can only get a 30 per cent allocation?

Of course there is a long list from the NSW Government and its highly paid bureaucrat­s giving us their ‘reasons’ for the low allocation, including that our farmers have to ‘repay’ water for the environmen­t, despite the environmen­t being the biggest water holder in the country.

It has also benefited from unregulate­d high flows over the past two months, so how much more does it really need?

It is such a shame that our region's leaders (community and government) continue to lack the unity and strength to fight on behalf of our hard-working irrigation farmers for a fair and equitable share of the drenched water resources.

Unless this changes soon, I’m concerned that staple food production in the Murray Irrigation Ltd footprint may become a thing of the past for family run irrigated agribusine­ss.

‘Wake up water bureaucrat­s’ and allow the nation’s most efficient irrigation communitie­s to grow fresh clean staple foods that the city folk demand.

Yours etc. James Sides


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