WATER ALLOCATIONS SHOULD BE PROPORTIONAL
Why do the Murray irrigators have zero per cent allocation and the Murrumbidgee irrigators have seven per cent allocation in the 2018/2019 irrigation season while SA irrigators have 100 per cent?
Australia was the front runner in arid area irrigation prior to the 2007 Water Act.
In 2004 the House of Reps interim Report into the living Murray, 10 out of 11 Across Party MPs concluded that the science was so poor as to not justify taking any water from productive use.
When the late Professor Peter Cullen of the Wentworth Group was challenged on live television by Professor Jennifer Marahosy, he admitted that "well, yes the rivers are in quite good health".
The Coalition with Malcolm Turnbull as Water Minister defied that report and drafted the 2007 Water Act.
It was condemned by the late Professor John Briscoe as an environmental act and that it must be re-drafted if Australia is to regain its status as the world leader in Arid Zone water management.
The continuing stark evidence of the massive destruction of industries, communities, family farmers, job losses, and the ever growing adverse impact on Australia's food and fibre production, its GDP and future food security is plain to see and all to correct a problem that didn't exist.
The Productivity Commission Report and the Senate Inquiry Report and Recommendations, have been all ignored as the government and MDBA ploughed on with implementing the plan.
The Basin Plan in its current form Guarantees South Australia one-third of the river flows.
South Australia has 6.8 per cent of irrigatable land.
Much of the excess water is used to raise the level of the lower lakes which was a natural sea estuary, it was then only flushed with fresh water during times of high river flow, as during floods.
South Australia originally received three-thirteenths of river flows but refused to allow the upper states to build Dartmouth Dam unless it received one-third of river flows and received 100 per cent allocation first, before NSW or Victorian irrigators received any general security water.
This has given SA a degree of high security and lessened the reliability of general security water in the upper States.
The Lower Lakes evaporate approximately 1000 gigalitres of water each year.
A further 500 gigalitres of water has been used to flush water out to sea through the barrages placed at the mouth to the sea this season.
Flushing the water out to sea through the barrages has been shown to have no effect on keeping the sea mouth open and negating the need for dredging.
All water losses, which is water lost for use downstream through mostly seepage from the river to water vegetation along the rivers and streams and seepage to ground water to replenish natural underground prior streams etc is in fact environmental water.
All these losses from the Hume to the SA Boarder (an estimated 900 gigalitres) as well as from the SA Boarder to the Lower Lakes (an estimated 300 gigalitres) are classified as losses and are carried by the upper states to SA as part of their entitlement.
This water is and should be reclassified as environmental water not taken from productive use in the upper states.
To prevent the salinity levels at Morgan, South Australia from increasing, 300 gigalitres of water are used to flush the river system each year.
Since this was implemented salt inception schemes along the river system have been put in place.
Farmers have also carried out on farm works to remove or reduce the amount of salt entering the river system.
As salinity levels at Morgan, have not increased as projected but have in fact declined to below 400 (World health figure of 800ECs), that this dilution flow should also be returned to the upper states.
If South Australia received their water proportionally with the upper states then Victoria, NSW and SA would have had an allocation of 33.3 per cent.
We could then add on this year's allocation of seven per cent for the Murrumbidgee.
The 300 gigalitres presently used to flush the river system and the 1200 gigalitres used to cover losses to the lower lakes which should be environmental water would both have made a significant increase.
Robert Sjollema, Hanwood
RESEARCHING FAMILY HISTORY
Seeking contact with anyone who may recall a Thomas Benson who lived at Barellan. His death notice appeared in the Murrumbidgee Irrigator in 1942.
At that time his son Percy lived in Temora, daughter Bessie married to a Martin Kirwin lived in Sydney and daughter Bernice married to a John Kirwan was at Wagga Wagga. Thomas is buried in the Leeton Cemetery.
Others names with possible connections are Cracknell, Rigney and Atkinson all most likely from the Barellan districts who were coffin bearers.
Wishing to complete a family history of the Sutherland family who were also in the Barellan or Narrandera area in the early 1900s. Please contact Kris Campbell - 0408 174 605 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.