Gra­ziers face weather con­cerns

Gatton Star - - Into Rural - By ALI KUCHEL

FOR the first time in nine years Ma Ma Creek grazier Collin Kar­rasch has been forced to cart wa­ter for his cat­tle.

All his dams are bone dry.

There’s no wa­ter left on his 116ha (286-acre) prop­erty.

And with less than av­er­age rain­fall across the re­gion this sum­mer, Mr Kar­rasch isn’t the only grazier start­ing to feel the strain of the El Nino con­di­tions.

“I’ve never seen dams so empty to the ex­tent that they are,” Mr Kar­rasch said.

“It’s been twice that we’ve geared up to cart wa­ter, but this is the first time we’ve ever run out.”

Aus­tralia is cur­rently in an El Nino which has brought above-av­er­age tem­per­a­tures and less-than-av­er­age rain­fall to the na­tion.

When East Hal­don, Thorn­ton and Atkin­son’s Dam re­ceived more than 100mm in the last storm, Ma Ma Creek was lucky to get 20mm.

And the out­look for au­tumn isn’t go­ing to be re­liev­ing gra­ziers of wa­ter short­ages any­time soon.

For Gat­ton, the av­er­age rain­fall for au­tumn is 176mm.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy, there’s 82% chance of re­ceiv­ing 100mm.

BoM cli­ma­tol­o­gist Jeff Sab­burg said the El Nino hadn’t bro­ken down as quickly as first ex­pected.

“We have to watch that it doesn’t switch from an El Nino to a La Nina,” Mr Sab­burg said.

“Go­ing from ex­treme dry to wet weather could be a bit of an is­sue.”

In Aus­tralia, the last two El Ni­nos (2010 and 2007) have been fol­lowed by La Ni­nas, which bring above-av­er­age rain­falls.

How­ever, Mr Kar­rasch said the lack of rain­fall has helped him pri­ori­tise what needs to be done at his prop­erty.

He’s in­stalled troughs and tanks in an­tic­i­pa­tion of fu­ture rain­fall and will col­lect much-needed wa­ter from his shed.

“I haven’t been col­lect­ing wa­ter off the shed, now at least what­ever comes off that roof I’ll get,” he said.

PHO­TOS: ALI KUCHEL

(LEFT) Collin Kar­rasch watches his troughs fill up af­ter cart­ing wa­ter to his cat­tle.

WAIT­ING FOR RAIN: Ma Ma Creek grazier Collin Kar­rasch looks to the sky for fu­ture rain­fall.

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