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Basin authority’s ‘science, not science’

The South Australian Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin continues to unearth serious problems in the MDBA’s implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“A summary of the evidence so far would be that the basin authority’s alleged science is, in fact, not science,” Mr Beasley told commissioner Bret Walker on Thursday.

“It is open to find that they know that. It is open to find that they have supplanted policy or a political position for scientific evidence.

“It’s certainly open to find that their science and economic analysis just does not stack up.”

https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/07/05/17/14/basin-authority-s-science-not-science

State plan to give irrigators water ‘free-for-all’ could threaten wetlands

Irrigators in New South Wales are set to receive vast new licences to take water from the Murray-Darling Basin, handed out for free under a state proposal that some say will undermine the national $13 billion plan to save the country’s most important river system.

http://Irrigators in New South Wales are set to receive vast new licences to take water from the Murray-Darling Basin, handed out for free under a state proposal that some say will undermine the national $13 billion plan to save the country’s most important river system.

Our role in the death of a river

It’s almost 12 months since that astonishing ABC Four Corners reportPumped. It alleged that, despite five years of the $13 billion Murray-Darling water-buyback plan that was meant to “fix” the river, “billions of litres of water purchased by Australian taxpayers to save Australia’s inland rivers are instead being harvested by some irrigators to boost cotton-growing operations”.

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/our-role-in-the-death-of-a-river-20180524-p4zh8e.html

EARTH FIRST: Water-saving Basin projects hang in the balance

Bev Smiles, President of the Inland Rivers Network, was critical of the reduction of environmental flow, saying “Inland Rivers Network is very disappointed that the Macquarie Marshes, Menindee Lakes and the Darling River below Bourke have been sacrificed in a poor Basin plan that will not deliver the required ecological outcomes for native fish, red gum forests, wetlands and downstream communities.

“The very risky compromise decision signed off by the Coalition and the ALP on Monday, does nothing to improve water quality or support internationally significant natural areas in the Murray-Darling Basin,” she said.

“The opportunity to improve drought resilience for native species has been lost.”

https://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/5394796/earth-first-water-saving-basin-projects-hang-in-the-balance/

Partial recovery of key Murray-Darling Basin sites stirs debate

Several key ecological Murray-Darling Basin sites are showing positive responses to extra water, stirring debate about whether planned cuts to environmental flows should proceed.

“We know that artificial watering, particularly using works, is not at all the same thing as natural flooding and produces different ecological responses,” Mr Bell said.

“The notion that you don’t need more water but somehow more concrete’s going to do the job seems to me pretty hard to swallow.”

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/partial-recovery-of-key-murray-darling-basin-sites-stirs-debate-20180501-p4zcot.html

WaterNSW boss told cotton grower of bid to keep his usage data from being released

A letter from the head of WaterNSW to cotton grower Peter Harris, saying he was exploring an exemption from the state’s freedom of information laws so it would not be required to release water usage records in future.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/28/waternsw-boss-told-cotton-grower-of-bid-to-keep-his-usage-data-from-being-released?CMP=share_btn_fb

WaterNSW took almost a year to act on water theft accusations: EDO

…the subsequent lack of action by WaterNSW – even after the widespread publicity and public inquiries prompted by the Four Corner program – prompted EDO NSW to initiate civil enforcement action on behalf of the Inland Rivers Network.

“We took on this case to protect the health of the Murray-Darling Basin river system, which relies on proper compliance with the law,” Elaine Johnson, EDO’s principal solicitor, said.

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/waternsw-year-act-theft-accusations-edo-20180311-p4z3u5.html

Photo Ross Lake