Friday, April 27, 2012

Senator Barnaby Joyce from Queensland comes to visit SA River Murray mouth

7.30 pm ABC News Good to see Barnaby Joyce in SA visiting the dairy farmers at Lake Albert near the Murray Mouth. Lake Albert is hyposaline because it has only a narrow one way channel to Lake Alexandra, which presently is fairly fresh water due to 2 years of normal to flood flows of the river. The good news is that the Lake Albert farmers are proposing "engineering works" (yes!) to build a channel from Lake Albert to the Coorong (about 3 kms) in order to get circulation of water and reduce salinity levels in Lake Albert. The SA Premier, Jay Weatherall pooh hoos the idea and wants more environmental flows (more then 2750 GL) to keep the river mouth open all the time.

My opinion is that Jay Weatherall is uninspiring impediment to getting a workable MDBasin plan. He supports the Greens "healthy river" model nonsense which must be rejected. The farmers idea of getting water circulation by having a channel to the Coorong has merit, in fact there should be MUCH more engineering works done to have a viable Lower Lakes estuarine system. The objective should be to maintain a stable water level in the two lakes by opening the barrages during times of inland drought and reduced river water flows.

Just having a channel from Lake Albert to the Coorong I suspect will not greatly reduce the salinity of Lake Albert, since the Coorong is more saline than sea water. There needs to be a means for sea water to enter the lower part of the Coorong and a good circulation maintained. You need a team of hydroengineers to revamp the whole Lower lakes system to optimise the economic benefit to the community. This wont happen with Labor and Greens in effective control of management.

When the Lower lakes has an aquaculture industry producing 10,000 tonnes of fish/shelfish etc annually I would concede that management is pointing in the right direction. The half dozen dairy farms can get their fresh water by pipe line from the Murray River proper at Wellington. Cheers, Allano