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Water Woes

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I watched Four Corners last night, only because it dealt with the dog's breakfast that politicians of left and right have made of the Murray Basin and water trading. A bloody disgrace is the only way to describe it, with billions of taxpayer dollars going to private pirates who have nothing to do with the production of food or the environment. Some of them have never set foot in Australia. Even actual farmers who have benefited from taxpayer largesse are exposing the sorts and waste - of water as well as money - that our unsavoury politicians are responsible for.

Let's see if the ABC is as influential as it thinks it is, and something is done about it. It would be a good idea for water once again be treated as an essential utility, for the benefit of Australia, not big business.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 10:01:58 AM
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Cotton & the money made from it are at the root of this, implemented by greed !
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 10:57:45 AM
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China is using Australian water to grow Chinese cotton, which it manufactures in China into clothing to be sold to consumers in Australia at an enormous profit. It takes 1500 kg of water to grow 1 kg of raw cotton! The Chinese have been stealing water from the Murray-Darling Basin to irrigate their crops.

This resulted in very little water being available to flush the Darling River of nitrate fertilisers entering it from the watersheds in southern Queensland and northern NSW. Why do you think those millions of fish died around Menindee? Excessive fertilisers gave rise to eutrophication producing algal blooms that depleted oxygen in the water below levels needed for the fish to survive. If water hadn't been siphoned off for cotton production and used instead to flush fertilisers out of the river system all of those fish would never have perished.

And the politicians and bureaucrats and leaders of the business community in Australia have been letting it happen because they are in the pocket of the Chinese.

One of China's biggest exports to countries like Australia is environmental degradation! And as one Chinese business woman in Australia was overheard saying: 'Aren't those Australians dumb!' Yes lady, they sure are!
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 11:54:24 AM
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I'm a food before environment sort of person when it comes to water, but we must look after the environment as well. The silliest thing about the current mess is that there is LESS water going back into to the environment than ever before! The environmental blah is a lie.

It is verging on criminal to be growing cotton or rice anywhere in Australia, given the regular and natural droughts we experience.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 12:30:01 PM
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individual and Mr 0,
This is NOT about cotton. I suggest you watch the 4 Corners episode, which is repeated at 1pm today. It's also repeated late tomorrow evening, as well as being available on iView, and I think it will also be shown later this week on channel 24.

And if cotton's the most lucrative crop (when the cost of water is included), why shouldn't the farmers grow it?

______________________________________________________________________________________

ttbn,
Why do you think big business should be excluded from irrigation farming?

>It is verging on criminal to be growing cotton or rice anywhere in Australia
>given the regular and natural droughts we experience.
Now you're just being stupid! In much of northern Australia the monsoon comes without fail.
But even in the Murray Darling Basin, the statement is complete rubbish because farmers can react to the conditions, and not sow cotton or rice if it's dry. I remember hearing in the last drought that the number of MDB farmers who'd planted rice that year was just two and they'd done so because they'd calculated that they could make more money per megalitre of water used from rice than from other crops.
Posted by Aidan, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 12:46:14 PM
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Dear ttbn,

What most people keep overlooking is that Australia is the driest continent on the planet. We need all the water we can get and shouldn't be giving it away to China which doesn't care what happens to the Australian environment.

Also there is another export of China that is having a devastating effect on the Australian environment: an invasive species of homo sapiens that will do even more damage to the environment than the rabbit and the cane toad.

An interesting fact: The sustainable human population of the natural Australian environment is only around 8 million. Except for a few small areas like SW Western Australia, the soil is unsuitable for agriculture: most of the nutrients are in the vegetation and there is only several years of available usage before the vegetation has to be replenished enough for another growing season. We have overshot the population limit by 17 million and the politicians and business community want to keep bringing in more cashed up Chinese to keep the economy afloat. As that Chinese woman said: 'Aren't the Australians dumb!'
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 1:02:59 PM
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Mr.Opinion,

I have always understood that the optimal population for Australia was 13 million; but 13 or 8, we are well past both, and our politicians are still hellbent on suicidal mass immigration based on the lie that continuing high immigration means continuing growth.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 3:19:37 PM
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The Murray fiasco started when John Howard put up $10 billion to 'fix' the 'problem' based on " .sensationalist and mostly false claims made during the millennium drought." (Ron Pike). Water Minister, Malcolm Turnbull was given the task of spending the money, even though the problems, if there were any, were not known. After that, Julia Gillard and Tony Burke got in on the act.

The Federal Water Act that went with the taxpayer money was in contravention of the of Section 100 of the Constitution! The states were pushed aside. But who cares about a little thing like the Constitution in Canberra?

Over 400 "water-unaware" and "inexperienced" bodies were put on the job under a new department called the "Murray-Darling Basin Authority" simply to put water into the environment, without knowing what the 'environment' was. The result was a "water market".

According to Pike, this "incompetent and incoherent policy", supported by both sides of politics, has resulted in a "scorched earth" landscape which was previously an efficient and productive food bowl.

Dams are dry. Rivers are dry. Dairy industries are going or gone.

Ron Pike believes that this costly 'plan' to 'save the Murray' has "failed our food producers and destroyed the future for nearly two million Australians".

And it has nothing to do with lack of water.

(Source: Quadrant Online 9/7/19. "How the Murray' Went Up the Creek". Videos available. NO paywall)
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 3:21:41 PM
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Dear ttbn,

We are headed down the road of environmental wars as a result of overpopulation and increasing global warming where nations will fight over who controls water. Just to name a few: Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the Nile; China, Pakistan and India over the Himalayan water tower; Israel, Jordan and Lebanon over the headwaters in the Golan Heights; Turkey, Syria and Iraq over the Euphrates.

There are parts of India and Africa that no longer have any water at all. The Yellow River in China and the Colorado River in the USA no longer flow into the sea. And in Australia the Namoi River in northern NSW is now classified as a dead river that no longer flows into the Murray-Darling Basin system.

And soon vast tracts of irrigated farmland in Australia will be reduced to saline deserts because not enough water is made available to flush the salt from the soil.

And the Chinese business woman keeps on saying 'Aren't those Australians dumb!' Yes lady, you are just so right!
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 4:08:24 PM
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why shouldn't the farmers grow it?
Aidan,
Grow produce that is suitable for the environmental conditions, Cotton is not. Let farmers in water-rich countries grow Cotton !
Technology should be used to enhance natural conditions, not over-ride them. The Murray-Darling system does not have either !
If people insist then they should implement the Bradfield scheme & then start farming !
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 5:16:11 PM
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Come on kiddies, how about some facts here.

A mate of mine grows dry land cotton, no irrigation at all, about 1 in 3.5 years, on his 1600 acre property not far from Jandowae. He is no fool, & only plants cotton when he has plenty of subsoil moisture. He usually plants about 300 acres, & expects to lose one in every 4 cotton crops he plants, when follow up rain does not come. At this it is by far the most profitable crop he can grow.

It also has some huge benefits. He is a modern no till farmer, but the soil still tends to develop a hard pan, which water, [& roots] have trouble penetrating. Cotton has strong deep roots which break up this hard pan, allowing water to go deep down. With normal rainfall, wheat planted after cotton does much better than wheat following anything else he can grow.

Rotating chick peas, [a nitrogen fixing legume}, cotton & 2 wheat crops followed by fallow is ideal when seasons permit, but cotton is an important part of a modern no till program on the black soil planes. Even the failed cotton crops have a good effect on the next few years cropping.
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 9:14:59 PM
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Dear Hasbeen,

That's very interesting but what has that got to do with this discussion about the misappropriation of water in the Murray-Darling Basin system?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 7:13:05 AM
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but what has that got to do with this discussion about the misappropriation of water in the Murray-Darling Basin system?
Mr Opinion,
I'd imagine Hasbeen provided the info for people who think !
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 8:35:09 AM
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Yes, Hasbeen. My comments on cotton and rice growing were just a side issue: nothing to do with the real problem of the almighty stuff up being made with our water. I should know by now to keep it simple and not go off the track, because the minor things will always be jumped on:).

I have a visceral objection to growing cotton and rice in Australia when it can be done with more water in developing countries who need the trade. What about the globalisation which is supposed to be soooo good for all and sundry? Why is it that our traditional farming, that we have always been so good at, is going down the gurgler while the elites cheer on foreigners, growing cotton, calling it 'investment'? The same people who reckon we are stupid and who are laughing at us as they soften us up to become a colony of China
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 10:54:37 AM
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I agree completely ttbn, with your thinking on the Murray-Darling. The South Australian government have used the idiot Greens to concoct a story that gives them millions of acre feet of fresh water to waste.

However denigrating cotton as a crop unsuitable for Oz is crazy. Cubby station collects it's water from overland flows, which are only going to waste if not collected. They are not stealing anyone else's water. I expect cotton serves the same useful function in the western cropping soils, as on the black soil planes.

The same is definitely true for so called environmental flows down the Murray. These are simply a waste of water, to be mostly evaporated uselessly from the South Australian ponding. South Australia is stealing other states water with this ploy, just to waste it.

I doubt anyone begrudges SA a fair share of the Murray-Darling water, but any thinking person must begrudge them the terrible waste of water caused by using the barrage retained water as a cheap irrigation distribution system, & fresh water playground.

I have never been able to understand the Greens, so anti dams, don't object to this effectively damming of the river mouth, unless it is merely bitchiness, in their desire to rob farmers of the water they need.

I guess I just found it, didn't I. Greens are simply nasty bitchy yobbos, who hate anything or anyone being productive
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 11:29:13 AM
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Has,

The three videos in the Quadrant article made a lot of sense to me. In think you would be interested in what the presenter thinks should be done with the Murray' mouth and the lakes.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 11:35:26 AM
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Forgot. Yes, the Greens are troglodytes.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 11:36:43 AM
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ttbn to answer your other question, "Why is it that our traditional farming, that we have always been so good at, is going down the gurgler", I'll tell you. It is because our traditional farming is no longer profitable enough to still work.

Once upon a time a farmer could grow a hundred acres of wheat, & even with the occasional year when the crop failed, his family could live well. Remember those soldier settlers blocks after the war, they were all a square mile, 640 acres. They were supposed to be a bountiful living for a family, instead they were a sentence to misery. Produce prices had come down so much by the 50s, that 600 acres was not a living block.

My Jandowae mate tells me that 50 years ago one good 1000 acre wheat crop, with another moderate crop, allowed for a failed crop every 3 years, & offered a good living. Today they can't afford the planting costs of a failed crop, so just don't plant at all, if the subsoil moisture is not sufficient to ensure a harvest. His 1600 acre is considered a marginal size for a cropping farm today.

Without the judicious use of cotton his son, who is now running the place would be better off driving a truck for a living.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 12:14:05 PM
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So, what do we do. Agribusiness doesn't employ many people. Mining is stuffed, and we don't make anything.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 12:33:03 PM
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We describe countries as developed, developing and undeveloped. Perhaps Australia could be described as an 'unravelling' country, be given the way we are heading.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 3:31:08 PM
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The Murray Darling is our only extensive irrigation system. One percent of the land. Government meddling is tearing it down.
Posted by ttbn, Thursday, 11 July 2019 2:48:23 PM
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Hasbeen,
I was very pleased with your first post in this thread, which injected a lot of sense into the debate.
I was equally disappointed with your second, which seems to have restored the stupidity!

>Cubby station collects it's water from overland flows, which are only going to waste if not collected
They're not "only going to waste". They would otherwise revitalise farms downstream before replenishing the Darling, the Menindee Lakes and the Murray. Only if all of those were already full would the water go to waste.

>I have never been able to understand the Greens, so anti dams,
>don't object to this effectively damming of the river mouth,
That's because you wrongly assume them to be motivated by malice rather than genuine care for the environment. But if you dare to reverse that assumption then you'll find the answer is blatantly obvious: they're not intrinsically anti dam, but they're very concerned about the ecosystems which are lost to flooding when a dam is constructed, and also the effects of the dam on the river ecosystem.

The Lower Lakes were originally brackish, but ecologically it was mostly more similar to freshwater than marine conditions. Then the Barrage was built and the freshwater and marine ecosystems were separated. With hindsight it should have been built near Wellington on Murray instead. But it is where it is, and changing it now would be quite destructive to the ecosystem that's developed, so it's hardy surprising the Greens want to avoid that.
Posted by Aidan, Thursday, 11 July 2019 10:12:22 PM
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As long as we let "experts' have a say in such matters, such problems will perpetuate !
Posted by individual, Friday, 12 July 2019 7:29:27 AM
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Actually, it's too late to fix the problem with the Murray-Darling Basin. Nothing can get done because the consensus is that it will always be business as usual.

Most people believe that things like environmental degradation, global warming, climate change, species extinction, etc., are lies created by academics and conservationists. They believe that God gave mankind dominion over the world and all living things to be used as they see fit.

So keep going the way you are and sooner than later the Basin rivers will be dead and the irrigated fields will be suffocated with salt turning the landscapes across NSW and Queensland into complete deserts.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Friday, 12 July 2019 7:10:08 PM
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Actually, it's too late to fix the problem with the Murray-Darling Basin
Mr Opinion,
Only if Academic "experts" & Cotton farmers keep being involved.
Posted by individual, Saturday, 13 July 2019 7:20:37 AM
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Dear individual,

I sympathise with your feeling but I'm afraid it is just TOO LATE for the Murray-Darling Basin. It is doomed to the fate of becoming a salt ridden desert and its rivers will become ecological dead ends.

This is similar to the fate suffered by the city-states of ancient Mesopotamia where large-scale irrigation fed by the Euphrates-Tigris rivers turned the fertile plains into a salt-ridden desert that has never been able to recover from such a man-made environmental disaster, which is what is happening in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The only one who will come out on top from the environmental degradation of the Murray-Daring Basin is the Chinese Communist Party which is using Australian water to grow Chinese cotton. When the M-D Basin has been exhausted the Chinese will just move on and repeat the same thing in some other country.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 13 July 2019 8:21:44 AM
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Mr. Opinion,

I think you and I agree on the Chinese. But the Chinese can act the way they do in Australia only because Australian politicians allow them to - no, they encourage them to.

I believe that the Murray Darling Basin problems can be fixed; just not by the same people who caused the problems in the first place - politicians.
Posted by ttbn, Saturday, 13 July 2019 9:49:11 AM
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Dear ttbn,

It's not just Australia's politicians who are to blame. It's also the bureaucrats who run the State apparatuses and the business people who are selfish and greedy for putting profit above the community and the environment. And all three appear to be in the pocket of the Chinese Communist Party, which is hungry for Australian water to grow Chinese cotton.

It is nice to see your concern and that you think the problem can be fixed but unfortunately it is just TOO LATE! The majority want to have business as usual and either ignore the environmental degradation to the Basin or just fob it off as someone else's problem.

I like a wager every now and then, but as an environmental sociologist I definitely wouldn't be putting my money on fixing the problem. The Namoi River recently stated as being dead and the killing of millions of fish in the Darling at Menindee are just the tip of the iceberg. As a sociologist I'll be interested in watching how the death of the Murray-Darling Basin is going to affect people and communities and how politicians et al will react to the level of environmental degradation that is heading their way. And I think it will be a lot sooner than later.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 13 July 2019 11:53:51 AM
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As a sociologist I'll be interested in watching
Mr Opinion,
Instead of just watching why not actually engage in finding solutions by applying for a job with the Cotton farmers & show them how much harm they cause ?
Posted by individual, Saturday, 13 July 2019 6:53:17 PM
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Dear individual,

It doesn't work like that. Sociologists study societies to explain social problems NOT to intervene in social action aimed at avoiding social problems. We need to explain the bad just as much as we need to explain the good. We can offer opinions on what the outcomes might be but it is up to you social folk to make the choices that will lead to the ultimate outcomes, good or bad.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Saturday, 13 July 2019 7:29:54 PM
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Mr Opinion,
So, who pays you for what ?
Posted by individual, Saturday, 13 July 2019 10:27:32 PM
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Dear individual,

Sociology is not a vocation that one pursues for the purpose of earning an income. The aim of doing sociology is to become a sociologist. I assume you are vocationally trained like an engineer, lawyer, etc., whose purpose in studying was to gain employment to derive an income.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Sunday, 14 July 2019 7:02:21 PM
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Mr Opinion,
When you said "as a sociologist".. it came across to me as your profession. I entered the (basic) engineering world because it interested me & I could tell early that I could make a difference which I did. I was one of the many who kept essential services running & people appreciated that. Some of my ideas/designs are still in use today after many years as are those of all the other tradies.
Of the countless bureaucrats & managers who's directions we were under their mistakes & mismanagement are still haunting many communities. Govt Departments too are still reeling from the finances wasted. I have never met a Sociologist hence my asking who pays you for what !
Posted by individual, Monday, 15 July 2019 1:38:53 PM
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Dear individual,

We're not all slaves to $$$. A lot of people just like being something for the love of it.

But then one does not need to be a sociologist to study the things that sociologists study. So why spend years of study to obtain several degrees to call myself a sociologist just to do the sort of things that others who don't have a fistful of degrees in humanities can do anyway?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Monday, 15 July 2019 4:06:38 PM
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Mr Opinion,
Your evasion is proof as to how Uni indoctrinated operate !
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 8:49:02 AM
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It's a pity that threads always seem to be dragged out by individual combatants, with nothing better to do than argue the toss over stuff that has nothing to do with the topic.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 9:08:07 AM
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Dear ttbn,

I see you doing it all the time so I thought it would be alright if I did it as well.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 11:53:57 AM
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No Mr. O. I rarely argue with people who disagree with me unless their disagreement is addressed directly to me. Even then, there is not much point; no minds are change. Opinions, in my view, have nothing to do with people identifying themselves as 'sociologists' or sanitary engineers, so I don't really see the point in your claim to know more because you call yourself a sociologist. Nor do I see much point in my old mate individual's attempts to take the piss because you do. You could be Ronald McDonald for all we know.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:10:11 PM
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Dear ttbn,

I disagree with you on the value of opinions.

One's opinion is based on what one is and what one knows. Therefore some people's opinions have more value than the opinions of others.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:49:58 PM
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The trouble here, old son, is that one cannot prove what one claims about onseself, so one could be simply talking through one's arse and have no particular qualifications or experience that would entitle one to claim one's opinions are worth more than anybody else's.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 2:46:29 PM
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Dear ttbn,

I have nothing to hide, other than the fact that I am not a doctor, not a lawyer, not an astronaut, not a plumber, not an accountant, not a wizard or stand-in stuntman for Tom Cruise and not a whole bunch of other things outside of being a sociologist. My opinions reflect both what I am and what I am not.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 3:16:09 PM
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Has anyone found out yet of what benefit vs cost Sociologists are to us ?
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 5:53:12 PM
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Dear individual,

Are you alright? Sounds like you might be off your medication.

Sociology is not a vocation, it's a scholarly pursuit. One does not equate what sociologists do with money. Sociologists do sociology for themselves.

You and the others on OLO are fixated on the fact that you all come from the trades viz engineering, law, etc., where the principal interest is in making money from work or business.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 18 July 2019 6:58:25 AM
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Mr Opinion,
Let me put it another way. What positives/benefits do Sociologists contribute to society ?
Are they different to the social engineers of the past decades ?
Posted by individual, Thursday, 18 July 2019 8:04:45 AM
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This is NOT about cotton.

I just spotted this on page 1 by Aidan. So, were we to stop supplying water to the Cotton farms, would the river still be running low ?
Posted by individual, Friday, 19 July 2019 10:20:36 AM
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It as dry in 1901 individual, & many times before & since. It is only full today because of the work done by European settlers in building dams, weirs & locks to control what water we have, to make it navigable when it was the main inland goods highway.
Posted by Hasbeen, Friday, 19 July 2019 1:47:04 PM
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