Rivers in crisis: water theft and corruption in the Darling River system

Garcia, Elena

Publisher:  Green Left Weekly
Date Written:  31/01/2019
Year Published:  2019  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23381

A water crisis in New South Wales has resulted in millions of fish dying and a shortage of water in communities. Politicians blame drought while other blame corruption and the actions of big irrigators.



Politicians and bureaucrats have launched endless inquiries in an effort to appear to be dealing with the water crisis in New South Wales, where a blue-green algal bloom has deprived a 40-kilometre stretch of the Darling River of oxygen and a million fish died as a result. Rural communities, wildlife, graziers and stock are also running out of water.

Yet these same bureaucrats have been very slow to implement any of the recommended reforms and few steps have been taken to deal with the mismanagement, water theft and corruption that led to this crisis, writes Elena Garcia....

Writing for The Conversation on January 16, Professor Fran Sheldon, of the Griffith University Australian Rivers Institute, rejects the argument that the current water crisis can be simply put down to the drought.
She pointed the finger at government inaction. “The deaths of millions of fish in the lower Darling River system over the past few weeks should come as no surprise,” Sheldon said.

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