Some of the problems in the Murray Darling Basin have been created by a series of man-made barrages designed to curb water flows. Removing the barrages would help the lower reaches of the river system return to its natural state. That’s the view of biologist Jennifer Marohasy from CQ University in Queensland.
The future of the region has been in the news a lot lately, since the Murray Darling Basin Authority released its draft plan for the basin — an area of 1 million square kilometres that’s crucial to our $9 billion agricultural sector. She has described the plan as a “grab for water based on popular myths” and attacks the Wentworth Group — which supports the planned cutback in water allocations as a way of ensuring continued flows down the length of the river.
The plan is very different to the approach suggested by Jennifer Marohasy, who says a lot of good work has already been done to protect the environment and we need to accept that it will always alternate from drought to flood. That means we need to be sensible about what we plant and ignore calls for higher-value crops that will be unsustainable in this environment.