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NSW towns facing "Water Emergency"

The Guardian reports that NSW and towns including Dubbo and Tamworth are facing a water emergency within months:

Towns in western and central New South Wales, including Dubbo, Nyngan, Cobra, Walgett and Tamworth, are facing a crisis in their water supplies within months unless it rains, prompting emergency planning by water authorities.

And on properties throughout the Murray-Darling basin, irrigators are bracing for their water entitlements to be reduced by around 10% of their usual allocations, which will severely constrain agricultural production.

A week before the election, the Murray-Darling Authority issued a "sobering assessment" of the outlook of the Murray Darling system in the Communique from its monthly meeting.

"Since July 2018, inflows to the Murray river have remained the driest 7% on records, the head of River management," the executive director, Andrew Reynolds, told the board.

In other words, in the 114 years of record keeping, this result is among the 9 or 10 driest years. And its getting worse.

For some towns the crisis will hit within one to three months, depending on whether there is any rainfall. For others it will be longer.

The Burrendong Dam which services towns like Dubbo, Cobra and Nyngan on the Macquarie river, is at 5.9% and even with stringent water restrictions, will be empty within 12 months on current trajectory. The problem is there is no ground water that can be accessed by bores, so authorities are exploring the option of building emergency pipelines...

It's a similar situation in regional QLD:

...nearly two-thirds of the state remains officially in drought.

Agricultural Minister Mark Furner said on Wednesday morning he had accepted the recommendations of local drought committees to drought declare five additional shires and extend or issue part drought declarations in four others...

It means that 65.2% of Queensland is officially still in drought at the end of the summer wet season.

The Morrison Government last year launched a "migrants to the bush" decentralisation policy, which aims to shift migrants away from the cities to the regions. As usual, no consideration was given as to where the additional water supply needed to cope with substantially larger populations would come from.

Remember, much of regional Australia is located far away from the oceans, meaning that water desalination is not available. This makes decentralisation an impossible pipe dream.

With water supplies in both the cities and regions under immense pressure, where is the sense in addition a Canberra-worth of people to Australia's population every year via mass immigration? Where will the water come from and how much will it cost?

Water scarcity remains the elephant in the room of the population debate, and the key issue that Australia's mass immigration "Big Australia" boosters deliberately ignore, including The Guardian.

Its time to hold these shrills to account.


MacroBusiness, 24 May 2019




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