Drought plan needed after fish deaths
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.”
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.