Monday 6 August 2018
Liquid gold pouring into Gunbower Forest
As farmers in eastern Australia struggle to feed livestock and lose crops to severe drought, thousands of megalitres of water is flowing into the Gunbower Forest every day.
Delivered at a time of extremely dry conditions, this watering is not mimicking natural conditions – it’s doing the exact opposite.
Drought in eastern Australia has forced livestock farmers to sell breeding stock due to high prices of fodder and grain and left many growers with no other option than to write off thousands of hectares of winter crops.
We must question whether this is the most effective use of water when it could be used to grow fodder to support livestock farmers doing it tough.
Recent Federal Government changes have made it easier for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to trade water and broadened the range of measures revenue could be spent on.
With temporary water selling for up to $350/ML in the Murray system, this water could be traded to deliver a win-win for farmers and the environment. Not only would it raise substantial revenue to put towards environmental measures, but it would also make more water available for farmers.
In a drought, water is liquid gold.
We should be using every drop we can to support farming families who are doing it tough.