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The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) today issued a strong warning on using steel and concrete rather than water to save the Murray-Darling Basin.
The ACF warning is in response to a report by the House of Representatives Regional Australia Committee released today.
The report recommends that a mechanism to adjust the volume of water returned to the Murray-Darling be developed in response to water savings gained by environmental works and measures - artificial structures that divert water to environmental assets.
“The Basin’s rivers and wetlands need more water to survive so they can continue to provide for Basin communities,” ACF Healthy Rivers campaigner Ruchira Talukdar said.
“Unless improved, the Basin Plan will not provide enough water to keep the river flowing and alive and prevent it from being poisoned by salt.
“In some cases, environmental works and measures can help by ensuring priority wetlands and floodplains receive water. But concrete alone is not going to solve the problems that have developed through decades of overuse in the Basin.
“We all depend on the Murray Darling – the nation’s lifeblood –– for food, water and life. It’s in our shared interest to understand the trade-offs that are being made under the Basin Plan.
“The Environment Minister Tony Burke must ask the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to immediately model the effects of returning higher volumes of environmental water, particularly 4 000 gigalitres,” Ms Talukdar said.