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Water bird numbers down 70% in the Murray-Darling Basin over ~30 years

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Old Saturday 29th July 2017, 21:47   #26
elkcub
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Hi Chosun,

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but this reminds me of what the author of Dune said:
Quote:
... Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.

Frank Herbert
Tell me he's wrong, .... please!

Ed
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Old Sunday 30th July 2017, 17:43   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Hi Chosun,

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but this reminds me of what the author of Dune said:
Quote:
"... Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy."

Frank Herbert


Tell me he's wrong, .... please!

Ed
Hi Ed

That's an apt quote, from quite the author. Humans run the spectrum from those that will give everything they have, to those that will take everything they want. The outcome of the eternal tussle between light and dark rests on the heart of man. Hopefully we're tipping the balance - one expanded spark of light at a time. Even though the 'dawning of the age of aquarius' seems to be taking its own good time ..... I remain optimistic!

There is genuine will by the Australian people to save the environment and some $13 Billion has been invested/earmarked for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. People had trusted that it was sorted, but it seems there is quite some way to go ..... Fixing up the environmental water share will be just the start, then somewhat of a quantum leap in awareness will be required to repair the erosion and wetland damage using Natural Sequence Farming techniques etc.

I choose to believe that any governance and systems design shortcomings are more the result of misguided populism and lack of expertise and competence by our politicians (as well as factional power plays and horse trading), rather than any sinister influence of dark overlords. Certain individual and corporate piggies at the trough have definitely succumbed to greedy opportunism in the dark shadows. We need to get rid of the water trading as an acceptable primary business model .... it seems that Billions $ may have already been wasted on such unproductive and environmentally degrading practices.

Thank goodness for credible environmental scientists like Professor Richard Kingsford, but it's not just the environmentalists ringing the alarm bells over the shortcomings of the plan (even if the illegalities and compliance issues were fixed). It seems that even the economists are on board, and when that unholy trinity comes to light it's time to sit up and take notice!

Water being subject to gravity, One of the gross failures of logic that is now being more widely understood, is that gains from irrigation and water use efficiences, result in corresponding losses by reduced return (leakage) back to the environment. This useless loop coming at great financial cost to the taxpayer!

Here is a quote from one of the plethora of who's who water economists that brought quite the smile to my face:
''The government's claim that it is creating 'new' water is spurious in the extreme. When water is purportedly 'lost' in the irrigation district, it does not go to Mars. It is not lost at all, it has just gone somewhere else.''
http://www.stockandland.com.au/story...-plan-savaged/

The deputy Prime Minister has also been caught out shooting himself in the foot ....... (after a few beers! :)
http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/4...r-report/?cs=7

Hopefully this whole issue will now receive proper scrutiny and the environment / irrigation allocation balance be reset more in line with the sustainable environmental health purpose and intent of the Plan .... and sooner than the currently programmed 5 year on-ground review time frame. That would be highly satisfyingly ironic


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Old Wednesday 2nd August 2017, 14:30   #28
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Exclamation More crooked than a boomerang, a bigger stink than a pile of rotting European Carp ..

"Nats & the Water Rats"
------------------------------------

That's today's front page headline in mainstream daily newspaper - The Daily Telegraph. Political party donaters benefitting from retroactive decisions, attempted retroactive changes to regulations, inter-governmental department loggerheads, resignations, a Federal Inquiry announced, and still the calls for a Judicial Inquiry by other State Premiers ring loud .....

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...08e607f277e9c7

http://www.news.com.au/national/brea...8afc89743a390e



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Old Wednesday 9th August 2017, 16:12   #29
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Well, it's taken a week, but the mainstream newspaper 'The Daily Telegraph' (left, or our Australian Labour Party leaning - mostly! , it has become much more Conservative/Liberal these days after the last economic disaster of the previous Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Labour Government ) is finally running with this story and now claiming that it broke it as well!
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...b1d1e58a4e1f1f

Plenty to dig up here folks, we will just have to see what sort of enquiry we get .......

Rather than fix the problem, politicians are mooting a half $Billion pipeline to provide water for Broken Hill ! ...... ever get the feeling that 'mining' the taxpayer has become THE new Core Global Mining Business ?? ??

[EDIT]: . Oops! It seems that link runs into a subscriber pay wall - try a Google search "Water, water, everywhere The Daily Telegraph" , that's how I initially accessed the report I saw in Wednesdays newspaper.



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Last edited by Chosun Juan : Wednesday 9th August 2017 at 23:10. Reason: search for link
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Old Monday 11th September 2017, 09:37   #30
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Some chickens coming home to roost hopefully.... http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-0...56?pfmredir=sm
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Old Wednesday 13th September 2017, 13:42   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh73 View Post
Some chickens coming home to roost hopefully.... http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-0...56?pfmredir=sm
Thanks for that update

Several good things to come out of the Matthews report:
* The standing down of Hanlon
* The 'no meter - no pump' recommendation
* The 'publicly transparent licensing conditions and records' recommendation.

I am less keen on a further layer of buearacracy though - surely the whole kit and kaboodle should be administered by the Federal Environment Department, and the Murray Darling Basin Plan should be reset within sustainable environmental limits.

I think the Kingsford report shows that we are way over allocated even if everyone was playing by the rules.

We need a reality check and to realize that 'lost water does not go to Mars' and therefore no 'new water' can be created by increasing irrigation efficiencies (even though that should be pursued).

This is one of the largest and most beautiful river systems in the world - on one of the oldest, driest continents on earth - a paradise.

The good faith of the Australian (and world) population has been betrayed, and I would agree that nothing less than a Royal Commission with broad ranging, open terms along the lines that I have detailed above is satisfactory.

This is the time for a complete holistic reset - not just tinkering at the edges, or thinking that regulatory reform is the endgame ......



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Old Tuesday 24th October 2017, 13:17   #32
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Exclamation

Organised Crime Squad raids http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-1...n-farm/9080280

and,
"Renewed call for royal commission into Murray-Darling Basin after Queensland cotton farm raided during water fraud investigation"
http://www.news.com.au/national/sout...ed6a9cbe744b26

A Royal Commission AND Governance redesign to best practice is required ....... "It was the equivalent of handing the chicken coop to the fox." -- Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia.



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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 01:10   #33
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Exclamation

Interesting times!

Federal Water Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce at the Centre of this whole Murray-Darling storm has been ruled ineligible to hold office in Parliament on account of being a citizen of another country (despite being born in Australia - crazy times! :) . He is now running in an upcoming By-election after fixing his citizenship issue to the satisfaction of the Constitution. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nati...08d3f784406834

The Water portfolio will temporarily be taken over by Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull - whose Liberal party has just lost its clear majority in Parliament.

Senator Nick Xenophon who is pushing for a Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling and water scandals was also under a citizenship and eligibility cloud, but has been cleared by the High Court. Ironically, he had already announced his resignation from Federal politics to run for Office in the South Australian State Legislature.

Where does all of this leave the original Murray-Darling and water corruption allegations? ....... who knows! Stay tuned - hopefully the Federal Opposition will take up the issue even if only as a political football, though they have been pretty quiet since the story broke .....



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Old Tuesday 8th January 2019, 14:24   #34
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Exclamation ~ 1 Million fish killed !!!!!

Jeez, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since I last posted on this thread ! There have been wholesale politician clearouts, and even the knifing of the then Prime Minister. I haven't had the time to keep up with the various Inquiry and Royal Commission calls, and what has actually taken place and the outcomes.

I think there were some minor prosecutions, but questions over the balance and viability of the Murray-Darling Basin plan are still in question.

Recently we had a fairly brutal heat wave pass through the country at the tail end of a long drought. Over the last few weeks, and again over the last two days has come news of a devastating fish kill on the Darling river over a 40km odd stretch. Estimates of a Million or so fish killed ...... from 1cm long fingerlings to 1.3m long 'centurion' Murray Cod, through countless endangered adult breeding size Silver Perch .......
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...628930603&_rdr
https://www.abc.net.au/radio/program...basin/10697608

This is a long way from the living river paradise it should be - time to wake right up ! So maddeningly sad ........



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Last edited by Chosun Juan : Tuesday 8th January 2019 at 22:20. Reason: spellun n dat
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Old Wednesday 9th January 2019, 13:18   #35
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Unhappy

The finger pointing continues .....

However, the fact remains that when you have century-odd old Murray Cod floating belly up then something is wrong. This isn't the first rodeo they would have been to. They would have seen all manner of droughts, heatwaves, cold snaps, and floods before ....

The one thing that is new however is the greedy take of the natural system's water by humans.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/techa...Dbm?li=AAwmrQf

My take on it is that the destruction of the soil sponge and proper hydrological functioning of the land (constant steady release by the soil of water back to the core wetlands and creeks/rivers), and artificial fertilizer loads, also plays a large part .......




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Old Friday 11th January 2019, 07:41   #36
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Thumbs down

The big danger with all the political faffing around, buck passing, corruption cover ups, water over allocation and extraction by industry, and general mismanagement, was that the river system would not have the usual resilience and ability to cope with the harsher periods of the natural climate cycles.

Well, now a real actual on-ground disaster has occurred, which has revealed that all the shuffling of deck chairs hasn't prevented the Titanic from crashing, and revealed that the emperor has been wearing no clothes all along.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...composer=false

This whole thing stinks to high heaven .........



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Old Saturday 12th January 2019, 21:23   #37
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Thanks for this Chosun, just another sad part of Australia's lamentable environmental record where big business wins every time, blind Freddy can see you need more water in the river system but no-one will sort it out.
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Old Monday 14th January 2019, 01:54   #38
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Exclamation A week of 45°C+ temperatures and further fish kills predicted

A week of 45°C+ temperatures and further fish kills predicted, claims of mismanagement and corruption, despair, and calls for a an independent scientific investigation, and a Royal Commission

The weather forecast looks grim with another heatwave expected this week, record temperatures possible, ~1000 tons of rotting fish sitting in the river, plagued with blue-green algae, no flows, more fish kills predicted, finger pointing and buck passing rife, political spin, and deck chair shuffling, calls for an independent scientific enquiry, and even calls for a Royal Commission ........ meanwhile a river system dies
https://amp.smh.com.au/national/nsw-...13-p50r4v.html
https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.n...ticle/10712662

Murray-Darling Basin: SA launches royal commission into alleged water theft (Nov 2017, established 23rd Jan 2018 - final report due 1st Feb 2019):
https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.n...rticle/9194368
https://www.mdbrc.sa.gov.au/
Submission-SA-Murray-Darling-Basin-Royal-Commission-Sept-18.pdf

Greens Senator again calls for a Federal Royal Commission
https://www.abc.net.au/radionational...rling/10707432




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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2019, 14:46   #39
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I saw a series of interviews with Professor Mike Young, and several credible people last week, and finally have managed to find some written reports online.

These folk nail it - not all parts of the MDB plan deserve equal weight - without the environment there is nothing - no social factors, no industry, and no indigenous culture able to survive in the region ...... nothing - just death and an uninhabitable wasteland.

"Yes, it is hard to manage rivers like the Darling through drought, but that's Australia. If you haven't got a management plan that can manage the water through drought in the Darling, you haven't got a plan," Professor John Williams said.

Imagine an area the size of France and Germany combined, that should be a beautiful wetland paradise turned into the Sahara desert.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.abc...ticle/10716080
Interviews with:-
1. Adjunct Professor John Williams
2. Professor Richard Kingsford
3. Professor Michael Young
4. Professor Robyn Watts

Key amongst their insights is that too much water is intercepted before making its way into the system (also starving wetlands) , and that not enough consideration is given to drought scenarios and the "minimum hands off" flows that requires for sustainable system health.

Add to that excess nutrient load from agriculture /grazing, and the destruction of the soil sponge and increasing erosion (if the official insights manage to stretch that far), and you will pretty much have the findings of the Royal Commission due to be released soon .....

13 $Billion of taxpayer money spent and the plan is glaringly inadequate.




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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2019, 14:58   #40
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Exclamation Fish kills will not be added to Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission purview

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.n...ticle/10726124

The commission is due to deliver is final report to SA Governor Hieu Van Le on February 1, and has said it will include "adverse assessments of many governmental decisions and processes."

Commissioner wants report published immediately
In a strongly worded response to Ms Chapman, Mr Walker urged "immediate and complete publication of the report".

"It is my view that the whole report should be published immediately," the letter stated.

"The public interest demands it. There are no countervailing considerations such as national security or the administration of justice.

"The national implications of the report's subject matter are also a reason for the report to be made available for consideration and criticism without delay." .....

.... "This is all the more important because my conclusions include adverse assessments of many governmental decisions and processes," the letter said.

"The criticism and justification of governmental conduct is peculiarly, in our society, best done openly."





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Old Tuesday 29th January 2019, 01:49   #41
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Exclamation System in Crisis ! 3rd major fish kill

No ~100 year old cod this time, just 100's of 1000's of tiddlers ..... locals fear there'll be no fish left ......
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...ister/10757546



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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 02:02   #42
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Angry Experts concerned after carp survives Menindee's mass fish kills

Bl**dy air breathing! Pommie b*st*rds - "disgusting mud-sucking creatures" ....... er, the European Carp that is ....

"They're a very successful pest, they're tougher than a lot of the native fish species … they're the last fish to die in many of our systems," NCCP national coordinator Jamie Allnutt said.
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...kills/10760612



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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 02:39   #43
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Thumbs up Fish Kill QandA

Some good Q & A by former MDBA Director Maryanne Slattery, and Roderick Campbell, The Australia Institute. Available for download.
http://www.tai.org.au/sites/default/...5bWEB%255d.pdf



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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 02:52   #44
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Thumbs down The River Speaks - The reality is that paper numbers no longer represent actual water

Amid delays in publicly releasing the South Australian Royal Commission report (handed to government yesterday), former MDBA Director Maryanne Slattery on ABC News today, has called for its immediate release.

This previous interview went someway to covering the material of her witness submission to the RC.
Murray-Darling Basin Authority: former employee accuses agency of manipulating data
https://www.theguardian.com/australi...ipulating-data

"Royal commissioner labels government’s approach ‘irregular and deplorable’ "




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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 08:19   #45
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Arrow The Murray-Darling Basin, South Australian Royal Commission - here's how we got here

A nice synopsis of how we got this point in the formal investigation - and I think vindication for Professor Richard Kingsford's (and many others) research (linked initially this thread).

The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission has handed down its findings. Here's how we got here
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...-down/10756198




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Old Thursday 31st January 2019, 05:46   #46
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Exclamation ROYAL COMMISSION Report released !

"The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission has found Commonwealth officials committed gross maladministration, negligence and unlawful actions in drawing up the multi-billion-dollar deal to save Australia's largest river system."

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...risks/10766106

Given that this is a South Australian instigated State Royal Commission, and even with it's limitations of lack of Federal cooperation and refusal to let relevant witnesses and officers testify, the result is very worthwhile. The $5 odd million that it cost is a great investment and probably the best 5 Mil ever spent in light of the $13 Billion of taxpayer's money spent on the Murray Darling Basin Plan, and Authority so far.

As soon as I can find the full report publicly I'll link it in this thread.
[EDIT] Actual report now available on the official website here:
https://www.mdbrc.sa.gov.au/sites/de...f?v=1548898371

I can't say that any calls for a further "independent" oversight body make sense to me - that's what the MDBA is meant to be! "Independent" ! and taking care of the environment first - without it nothing else exists. If the MDBA needs a clean out, new charter and/or legislation - then make it so !

A triple bottom line has a place in decision making, but first and foremost before that must be the ongoing health and ecological viability of the entire Murray-Darling river, wetland, lakes, and floodplain system during ALL weather cycles including droughts, heatwaves, cold snaps, and breaking rain events.

As per the initial research from Professor Kingsford that kicked this thread off, the latest river problems are the canary in the coal mine for wider ecological problems and decline. Had the whole basin been in better condition, with more natural functioning in line with Peter Andrews Natural Sequence Farming (ie. a more saturated soil sponge continually releasing water to the system, and intact functioning vegetation communities aiding microclimate functioning and thus moderating climate and providing refugia in harsh times), then the whole system would be a lot more resilient.

Opposing legal, scientific, stakeholder, government office, or political opinion pales into insignificance when the river speaks ..... and the river has well and truly spoken !!!




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Old Friday 1st February 2019, 13:34   #47
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I have seen some bad cases of fish kills due to river pollution but nothing on that sort of scale. It is often the bigger fish which succumb due to the obvious need for more oxygen but to see such a blanket of fish of all sizes does nor bode well for future breeding recovery. This is going to take years for the fish stocks to recover.
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Old Sunday 17th February 2019, 11:55   #48
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Exclamation The River has Spoken !

The Drum Tuesday February 12 - this episode was brilliant !

The river system is on life support .... large breeding Murray Cod are being individually removed from affected parts to be kept alive elsewhere.

Even the big years long droughts of the turn of the 20th Century (the Federation drought) and at the turn of the 21st Century (the Millennium drought) didn't have fish kills on this scale .....

The South Australian Royal Commission report hit the nail on the head but seems to be fading away to a whimper with all the impact of being slapped by a wet lettuce.

To put this in perspective, the Murray-Darling Basin covers an area the size of France and Germany combined, or 4 times the United Kingdom (for those of a Brexit bent :)

I have been waiting for some fair dinkum analysis and 'truth telling' and finally it has been broadcast on a recent episode of Australian TV ABC program "The Drum" of Tuesday 12th February 2019.
I cannot recommend highly enough that you spend 1/2 an hour watching this program (starts at the ~26:00min mark).
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...48?pfmredir=sm

Featuring representation from the northern basin Aboriginal Nations group, as well as highly informed commentary from Professor John Williams of the Australian National University.

Takeaways are that:
* The political process has corrupted the MDBA plan and is only delivering less than half the required water to the environment (2750GL vs the 6900GL that scientists originally recommended)
* This is insufficient through drought periods
* The Water Act has not been implemented properly, and this improper implementation is not in accordance with First Nations Principles
* Apart from illegal take of water as exposed in the 'Four Corners Program - Pumped' , that the 'harvesting' of northern floodplain deltas is unregulated, unknown, and excessive
* Vegetation clearing, and damage to the soil sponge has a deleterious effect, and any climate change effects have not been accounted for

Three guys stand out to me as being absolutely bang on the money:
Professor Richard Kingsford
Professor Mike Young
Professor John Williams

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John...ater_scientist)
https://www.policyforum.net/authors/john-williams/

I also highly recommend reading last year's Murray Declaration:
https://murraydeclaration.org/
https://murraydeclaration.org/signatories
https://murraydeclaration.org/the-declaration


I can't fathom that we have so many accomplished absolutely leading world class scientists, and have wasted a significant part of the $13Billion spent, and are still in this huge bl**dy mess .......

It has GOT to be The Environment first and foremost, and everything else to follow from that subject to sustainable limits that don't impinge on environmental health in any way, no matter what the cyclical climate conditions are at any point in time, or a likely to be coming up.




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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 01:19   #49
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Vertessy preliminary report

"Mass fish kill due to 'exceptional climate conditions', Government's interim report finds"
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/20...58?pfmredir=ms




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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 01:27   #50
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Flipside - Independent Scientific Panel report - chaired by Professor Craig Moritz

"The conditions leading to this event are an interaction between a severe (but not unprecedented) drought and, more significantly, excess upstream diversion of water for irrigation," the report said.

"Prior releases of water from the Menindee Lakes contributed to lack of local reserves."


https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...eased/10820248




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