Water

Irrigated farming faces more threats

By Country News

Victoria’s irrigation industries and related communities seem to be ending 2019 with a potential threat of even more water leaving our agriculture.

I sense Canberra and city-centric sympathy to adjusting water sharing in the Murray-Darling Basin to give better balance.

Two of the most dangerous words in water thinking are ‘balance’ and ‘sharing'.

They both mean someone/some area has less and another gains.

Minister Littleproud’s direction to former policeman Keelty to review water sharing between states by March, could be another big step toward diminishing northern Victoria’s natural advantages.

Under the current climate the voices of people in arid zones will mask logic.

The nation's scarce water is best used in temperate zones where rainfall and evapotranspiration at places like Shepparton mean about 6.5 Ml/ha less water is needed than in 200 mm rainfall country.

Water conveyance losses and energy to pump water in regions beyond the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District gravity flow system makes current trends for water deployment even more ludicrous.

'Balance’ is already very lopsided when Victoria has been targeted by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to acquire more than 80 per cent of its water from Victoria’s more reliable system.

Barry Croke, Naring