Australia NSW Gov't Chooses Irrigators Over Environment In $339Mln Pipeline Deal - Reports

Australia NSW Gov't Chooses Irrigators Over Environment in $339Mln Pipeline Deal - Reports

Australia's New South Wales (NSW) government prioritized the cotton industry over the environment by funding the construction of the Broken Hill pipeline in the state's west and managing its water distribution, media has reported, citing a business case released under the freedom of information law by Justin Field, an independent member of Australia's parliament

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th August, 2019) Australia's New South Wales (NSW) government prioritized the cotton industry over the environment by funding the construction of the Broken Hill pipeline in the state's west and managing its water distribution, media has reported, citing a business case released under the freedom of information law by Justin Field, an independent member of Australia's parliament.

The Broken Hill pipeline, a 500 million Australian Dollar ($339 million) project that was approved in 2016, was meant to address the water crisis faced by the Broken Hill community due to depleting water levels of the Menindee Lakes, from which it used to receive its water supply. The pipeline, completed in 2018, transports water to the area from the Darling River. Several environmental groups and activists have expressed concern over the pipeline's impact on the environment.�

According to the document, as cited by The Guardian newspaper, the pipeline caters to upstream irrigators represented by the area's burgeoning cotton industry while disregarding the negative consequences its water distribution policy may have on downstream communities and ecosystems.

Additionally, if the unsustainable policy governing the pipeline's water distribution continues, the Broken Hill pipeline will threaten the long-term health of the Darling River and the communities that are dependent on its water supply, the media said.

In late July, the NSW Natural Resources Commission, a government body charged with managing the state's resources, released a review that called for an urgent overhaul of water distribution plans to avoid the collapse of an "ecosystem in crisis," in reference to the river basin.

In January, up to 1 million fish died in the lower portions of the Darling River, which marked the third major fish kill in the basin within a couple of months. A panel of scientists reviewing the incident said that the event was directly attributable to the excess upstream diversion of water for irrigation.

Your Thoughts and Comments