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Saving the lower Murray

By Peter Smith - posted Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A massive amount of pressure is being applied (from the uninformed/uneducated) to either open the Barrages between Lake Alexandrina and the Southern Ocean or remove the Barrages completely.

Last week the Australian Environmental Foundation, supported a paper compiled by a Biologist from Rockhampton (Queensland) Jennifer Marohasy BSc PhD: "Plugging the Murray River's Mouth: The Interrupted Evolution of a Barrier Estuary"

Ms. Marohasy would have us believe that by allowing seawater to invade Lake Alexandrina less water will be required for South Australia and our Lakes Alexandrina and Albert will be saved from the ravages of the next drought.


Mr Rheese (Australian Environmental Foundation) said "Opening the gates of the sea dykes (barrages not dykes) to let the tide in will restore the natural estuarine environment of the Lakes and remove the imperative to find very large volumes of water for the Lakes as the draft plan currently indicates." Returning the Lakes to an estuarine environment would also save up to 1000 gigalitres of freshwater that research shows is evaporated each year from Lake Alexandrina. "The Australian government's $10 billion basin plan is based on a premise that either must be publicly substantiated or abandoned."

Mr. Rheese goes on to say, "People concerned about the environment of the Lower Lakes and the Murray estuary demand that the final basin plan be based on real science, not water politics" he said which is 100% correct but whose science?

We need to listen to the voice of truth and reason, from Professor Mike Young, "To start with, one needs to understand that of the 1000gl that evaporates one needs to subtract local rainfall, groundwater inflows, contributions from the Finniss River and Currency Creek."

We are continually informed that the Lower River Murray and our Lakes do not have a freshwater history is they saying that, "A Freshwater History of the Lakes: Wellington to the Murray Mouth, 1800's to 1935" by

Terry Sim and Kerri Muller are not true, as that is a big call!

Let's look at the facts about the River Murray especially the Lower River Murray – Lock 1 at Blanchetown to the Southern Ocean!


Let's look at prior to the infrastructure constructed from the start of the River Murray to the Southern Ocean!

Infrastructure from source to the sea: -

· The Snowy Mountains Scheme,

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About the Author

Peter Smith OAM is past vice-president of the South Australian Murray Darling Association and a member of the Lower Murray Reference Group.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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