Securing town water supplies are always, priority one
Criticism of the NSW Government’s socio-economic assessment included in part of the public release of the Murray to Broken Hill pipeline Business Case outlining the decision to build a pipeline for an alternate water supply for Broken Hill (finished earlier this year) is trying once more to put northern irrigators in the limelight without any justification.
Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association, Executive Officer, Zara Lowien said that she’s not surprised that this is being used as a tool, to again, call for reviews or investigations in water management and to undermine the northern irrigation industry.
“It seems there is no shortage of drought-deniers that claim we are either not in drought or that we’ve never had a critical water supply issue before” she said.
“They simply miss the fact that when it doesn’t rain, our rivers don’t flow and there’s no water for anyone.” she said.
“We are on zero allocations (like many other regions) and haven’t had an allocation for nearly 2-years because, our river inflows are almost our worst on record”. she said.
“A key outcome of this project was to build a pipeline to finally drought-proof a major regional township with reliable potable water”.
“The fact that today, when Menindee Lakes is 0%, people in Broken Hill can turn their taps on, shower and drink, rather than waiting on water to be delivered (as per the previous back-up strategies) should be the focus”. she said
“We have never shied away from advocating for towns to have safe and reliable drinking water supplies and that its local and state Governments, who are responsible for this”.
“Nor have we shied away from demonstrating that policies relying on restricting upstream flows, like from within the Gwydir to secure critical supplies are inefficient, unreliable and blunt”.
“We respect that critical water needs are the highest priority user in all river systems, that’s not in dispute”.
“But relying solely on river systems like ours, during extended drought periods is just poor planning. More action should be undertaken to ensure all towns have secure supplies into the future.”
“Without the pipeline, Broken Hill would be without water right now and a flow restriction (embargo) wouldn’t change anything - as our rivers here are not flowing” she said.
“Objection to a pipeline, which is now built, demonstrates a disregard for regional communities and their economies because all communities deserve safe and secure water.” she said.
Media Contact: Zara Lowien, Executive Officer, GVIA. 0427521399
 Released by NSW Government via https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/plans-programs/infrastructure-programs/broken-hill-pipeline