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Pages tagged "Rivers"

Abseilers suspended on Hume Dam Wall with Huge Banner

In a protest this morning against the hopelessly inadequate draft
Murray-Darling Basin plan, activists have abseiled from the wall of the
Hume Dam outside Albury and suspended a giant 50 metre banner.

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draft Basin Plan released

On Monday, the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan was finally released. Green groups around the country, including Friends of the Earth, have described it as a monumental failure. It recommends a measly 2750 gigalitres of water be returned to the environment and even their own modelling predicts this is not enough to restore the rivers and their ecosystems to health.

CSIRO released their independent report yesterday as well - which highlights five major failings fo the plan, including a failure to take into account the impacts on water availability of climate change.

What now follows is 20 weeks of community consultation - it is time to get our voices heard. This draft Plan is simply not good enough - and doesn't appear to meet the requirements of the Water Act 2007. But we can still turn this around - see how to get active here and find out more via the links below to the media coverage we've been getting.

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PRESS RELEASE  Friends of the Earth

A new report by Friends of the Earth has highlighted high levels of chlorine disinfection byproducts in drinking water supplied to several towns in Victoria’s Mallee Region.

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Pesticides and water supply quality a concern for Gippsland residents

May 2 2013

 Friends of the Earth raised
concerns today about a recently published EPA report regarding pesticide and
heavy metal detections in waterways in Gippsland.


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Drinking Water And Health Issues in South West Victoria

March 14 2013

Media Release

Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth has today released a report which investigated drinking water issues in the South West of Victoria between the years 2006 and 2012. The information used in the report was sourced from Freedom of Information requests to two water authorities in the region, Barwon Water and Wannon Water.

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Quality drinking water for 3.4 million Australians only an “aspiration"

Last Thursday Friends of the Earth attended a pre-briefing on the soon-to-be-released Proposed Basin Plan. Amongst many disappointments in the document was this shocking bit of back-pedaling: water quality and salinity targets, critical to ensuring the waters of the Murray-Darling are safe to swim and drink, will now be merely “aspirational.”

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Concerns raised over MDBA decision to increase groundwater limits

The Murray Darling Basin Authority is charged with regulating groundwater acquifers as well as surface water. But in new leaks it appears they are looking to more than double extraction - "That's a huge amount of water to be pumping out of these aquifers, with untold risks for the future of those aquifers and also for potential pollution of surface water streams." says Friends of the Earth Murray-Darling Campaigner, Jonathon La Nauze.

It's also a radical revisal that has no basis in science and potentially opens the door for Coal Seam Gas and other mining in the Basin to large amounts of water.

Read the full story here or listen to the audio.

Murray-Darling Rivers doomed by Authority's plan

The Barmah-Millewa Collective joined more than a dozen peak environmental groups recently for a special briefing by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. What we heard was what we were expecting from the recent leaks about the draft Basin Plan. The Authority has bowed to pressure by the irrigation lobby and is planning on returning a measly 2800 gigalitres of water to the environment. This is roughly half of what the best available scientific modelling has consistently shown is needed to restore the rivers to health.

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Scientific Review Commissioned... But Flawed

This year there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) scientific modeling, culminating with a walk-out by the Wentworth Group in May. Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth have been demanding an independent peer review of the Basin Plan’s methodology and results for months (, so the MDBA finally commissioned an independent body to form a report on the Basin Plan, which will be released at the end of September.

However, this review can only investigate and report according to very specific and limiting terms of reference; it will not question critical assumptions made that underpin the scientific modeling. For example, only 18 out of 2442 key ecological sites have been used to indicate the health and water needs of the whole system – a risky assumption which needs to be properly examined, but is not being questioned by the CSIRO. Fundamentally, we doubt whether the review will answer the key question of whether the MDBA has used the best available science, as required by the Water Act 2007. We will continue to call on the MDBA to pay heed to the large body of existing scientific work which shows thatanything less than 4,000GL of environmental flows will not save the river.

Murray-Darling Basin Plan DELAYED

There has been a major development in our campaign for healthy environmental flows in the Murray-Darling Basin: the draft Basin Plan’s release has been postponed from August to early November. This means that the consultation period (during which the public can respond to the Plan) will be for 20 weeks from November until March. This is the time when you are more able than ever to exercise your democratic right to shape policy. Read more