Drought plan needed after fish deaths

The Western Star - - NEWS -

THE need for a drought plan has be­come ev­i­dent fol­low­ing the mass deaths of fish in the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin last week, with more pre­dicted this week amidst a na­tional heat wave.

Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Au­thor­ity CEO Phillip Glyde said the tragic deaths of up to a mil­lion fish in the lower Dar­ling followed dra­matic changes in wa­ter oxy­gen lev­els are a re­minder of the ef­fects drought has on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the main causes of this dis­tress­ing event are the lack of wa­ter flow­ing into the north­ern rivers, and the im­pact of 100 years of over-al­lo­ca­tion or pre­cious wa­ter re­sources through­out the en­tire basin,” Mr Glyde said.

“With rivers run­ning dry and wa­ter stor­ages across the north­ern Mur­rayDar­ling Basin at 20%, drought con­di­tions are af­fect­ing com­mu­ni­ties, busi­nesses, an­i­mals and the en­vi­ron­ment.”

A Basin Plan, agreed to in 2012, is half­way through be­fore an ex­pected full im­ple­men­ta­tion in 2024, and Mr Glyde said it had made pos­i­tive im­pacts how­ever it was im­por­tant to adapt as con­di­tions change.

“It is not possible to drought-proof the Basin, but the plan can help us pre­pare for fu­ture droughts.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Gi­ant Mur­ray cod killed when oxy­gen lev­els dropped in the Mur­ray-Dar­ling rivers sys­tem are a re­minder of the need for an ad­e­quate drought plan.

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