Land and Water Management Presented by: Courtney Britt, Kaitlin Stocks, Stephanie Drach, Steven Benbrook and Summer Potvin
By Stephanie Explain the spatial and ecological dimensions of the issue The Murray darling Basin (MDB) covers 1,061,469 square kilometers which is about 14 percent of Australia’s total area. The river provides life through food and quality drinking water to Indigenous Nations, as it does to the Australian community. It also provides natural medicines to heal sickness, and enjoyment for recreational purposes. The Murray-Darling River Basin is in a state of crisis and ecological stress. It is widely acknowledged that extensive land and water mismanagement including bad farming practices that has included widespread deforestation, and significant human manipulation of the rivers through the construction of dams and rivers, has resulted in the reversal of natural flow cycles and over allocation of water licenses. Fish populations are in very poor to extremely poor condition throughout the River Murray. Issues such as salinity, poor water quality, stressed forests, dried wetlands, threatened native species, feral animals and noxious weeds.
By Steven Identify the processes present explaining one Processes: Tectonic, Weathering, Erosion, Transportation, Deposition Erosion Erosion is the process in which things break down, such as continents and the land around us. The overall effect of breaking down and weathering of the land is called denudation. The most important erosional agent is water, which erodes most commonly as running water in streams and rivers, but does erode in all its forms. However, water in all its forms is erosional.
In streams especially, water is a very powerful erosional agent. The faster that the water moves in streams the larger the objects it can pick up and transport. This is called ‘critical erosion velocity’. Streams flowing as slowly as three- quarters of a mile per hour can carry fine sand. Banks of streams are eroded in three different ways: the hydraulic action of the water itself moving the sediments, water acting to corrode sediments by removing ions and dissolving them, and also particles in the water strike bedrock and erode it. The water of streams can erode in three different places: 1) lateral erosion, which erodes the sediment on the sides of the stream channel, 2) down cutting, which erodes the streambed deeper, and 3) head ward erosion, which erodes the channel upslope. Wind erosion is known as Aeolian erosion, which is named after Aeolus, the Greek god of winds. Wind erosion occurs almost always in deserts. Aeolian erosion of sand in the desert is partially responsible for the formation of sand dunes. The power of the wind is enough to erode rock and sand.
By Kaitlin Describe the impacts including an estimate of the economic and human costs of the issue. The Australian Government is taking bi action on the health of the Murray Darling. Restoring the balance in the Murray Darling Basin program is an important component of the ‘Water for the Future’ initiative. This mean that the Australian government had put $3.1 billion to restoring the Balance and by purchasing water for the environment.
Outline the precise responses of individuals and groups Impacts and costs. The Murray darling supply’s the country with 40% of our drinking water, making it one of the most relied on basins in Australia. Is still repairing from when it was hit hard throughout the 2006 droughts where some areas of Australia were affected so badly by left behind salt that nothing will grow except salt-tolerant vegetation, some of this land has been rehabilitated; other area’s remain fenced off and unusable. The Murray darling one receives a current average rainfall of only 400 millimeters per year (nothing compared to what it did in the 1900’s) making recovery from the unwanted drought period is becoming a problem. Farmers are relying the basin to support their crops, which in return we also strongly rely on. Prices have risen dramatically throughout the 21st century as foods become more difficult to grow due to drought. Not only is the lack of water in the basin proving a problem for farmers and us but also Australian native wildlife. One-half to one-third of 25 freshwater fish species native to the Murray–Darling basin are now threatened with extinction. Plants that grow around the basin are being shriveled due to the salinity levels in the soil. The Murray basin also receives majority if their annual rainfall in one short time period causing floods which wash away housing, crops, plants and also increase soil salinity. The excess water has no-where to go but drain away meaning more water is lost and lots of damage is done. In an attempt to help the Murray darling basin’s process of returning to what it used to be, the government devised a plan to dramatically decrease the water been giving to farmers and those who live out there. Many believe the plan wont actually work, and it will be just a repeat of history. Others are hopeful that this attempt will be exactly what the basin needs. Water borrowing alone has cost Australia over 380 million dollars let alone the billions of dollars wasted in failed attempts to save it. Water depredation will continue to cause problems as we head into another dry summer.
Article No.1 By Summer Summarise two newspaper articles on the issues Can we get a win-win for the Murray-Darling Basin? By: David Walker, Executive Officer December 5, 2011 • -A reduction in the amount of water will be taken from the irrigators and put back into environmental flow • -Extra environmental water will be placed in local communities hands for management • -The book “the Murray; a river and its people” takes into account the environmental history that may be effected say that there are thousands of species of flora and fauna that have been there and have had to adapt due to the cycle of drought. • -There are in fact two main rivers now; one that that’s makes up an ecosystem and another created in the early twentieth century whose primary purpose is to conserve water used in irrigation for urban centres. • -Survival in the long term is dependent on the two rivers being able to co-exist to deliver both economic benefits like food security and environmental benefits of a healthy river ecosystem.
- Unfortunately the over-allocation for the Murray was a result of poor government planning and due to this inner-states are only comforted by impaction and reduction. • -Our best hope and most positive outcome is that we address the degradation of the system while maintaining our economic base this included limit on water usage and biodiversity benefits. • -An idea like building a wetland to ensure bird breeding is successful is just one idea of many. • -By putting a percentage on the Murray management we will be achieving the best success in conservation and production purely by local knowledge, ownership and an overall insight into the practicality of the river. • -Professor mike young, executive director of the Environment institute at the university of Adelaide says “the $8.9 billion being invested in the purchase of water entitlement and paying for increased water efficiency is equivalent to over half a million dollars per irrigator.”
Article No.2 by Summer The basin management strategy planBy: The Murray darling basin commissionOctober 29th, 2006 • -The Australian government is working together with communities for a basin Salinity management strategy (BSMS). • -Controlling salinity and protecting key natural resources within the catchment are the main targets The Australian government wish to accomplish. • - These targets have been established for the Murray darling system itself as well as each branched valley. • -Responsibilities on the Murray darling system are being shared between valley communities and states. • - Stable and accountable frameworks are being put into place so that over time tracking can be established in salinity management.
- The majority of faming systems will be redesigned in NSW and furthermore changed across the country. • -Irrigation for land and water management in the Murray darling has been statically planned with substantial improvements in water quantity. • -These improvements however are now threatened by the impact of dry-land salinity and have to accommodate the growing requirements in regions for disposal salt entitlements. • -The basin-shared rivers in including Morgan in South Australia are trying to maintain salinity at less then 800 EC for 95 precent of the time. • -This will provide certainty and integrity to areas affected and the strategy plans itself. http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/mdb/pubs/mdb-map.pdf
By Courtney Recommend further actions that can be taken to minimise the impact of the issue Today, Australia is struggling to find new ways to decrease water & land management. Australia's economy is trying to lessen these effects by expanding our rubbish tips, which removes the wastes from most rubbish dumps in Australia, & clearing out space away from homes to prevent complaints about the smells. A major concern to Australia is water use for many different reasons. Pesticide run-off, droughts & polluted water areas that affect rivers in Australia. • Conserve water - Recycle and reduce water that you use on a daily basis. Turn off taps when running water isn't being used. Take shorter showers. This not only helps prevent water shortages, but also reduces the amount of contaminated water that needs to be treated. • Don't throw litter in waterways, and places where the water can be recycled - Don’t put substances like paints, oils, any kind of litter and other similar items should be disposed of in the trash.
Help clean up litter in water-filled areas - This includes beaches, lakes, rivers and oceans. It is good to collect the litter and put it in a nearby bin. Instead of leaving it to pollute more waterways. • Compost- A compost waste bin is a great thing to have. If you just leave the compost in you yard it could be easily washed into storm drains when it rains. Even if the waste doesn't contain chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, the introduction of large quantities of sticks, leaves, and grass clippings can overwhelm waterways with unhealthy quantities of nutrients.
Bibliography • http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/nt_report/ntreport08/pdf/casestudy2.pdf • http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/action/case-studies/murray.html • http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/mdb/restoring-balance.html • http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/mdb/pubs/mdb-map.pdf • http://www2.mdbc.gov.au/salinity/basin_salinity_management_strategy_20012015/catchment_land_and_water_management.html • http://www.lplmc.com.au/20111205.html • http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20Features~Article%20–%20Land%20management%20practices%20in%20the%20Great%20Barrier%20Reef%20Catchment%20Area~283 • http://www.abc.net.au/water/stories/s1870461.htm?backyard • http://www.irrigation.org.au/assets/pages/3433448E-1708-51EB-A67DA85111F901E1/Economic impact of the drought on irrigation in the Murray-Darling Basin.pdf • Geoactive2 textbook. • http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/03/29/462201_water.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin