24.9°C 03:00 pm

Silverton a wasteland

Friday, 21st February, 2020

Finding a splash of green out near Silverton has proven difficult as the drought drags on across the Far West. PICTURE: Chris Rawlins Finding a splash of green out near Silverton has proven difficult as the drought drags on across the Far West. PICTURE: Chris Rawlins

By Myles Burt

Lack of rain, loose topsoil and constant winds during the drought have turned Silverton into a dusty wasteland. 

Eldee Station owner Naomi Schmidt said she hadn’t seen the Silverton area this dry since the end of the Millennium Drought before it finally broke in 2010.

Ms Schmidt said some areas look worse than others depending on whether properties have saltbush or low bush compared to low lying grasses. However, she said one aspect of the weather has been very different during this drought.

“The thing that’s obvious to me around this time is the amount of wind we seem to be getting,” Ms Schmidt said.

“We’ve got more wind, without the rain, of course.”

Ms Schmidt said the wind had become a hassle due to the amount of dirt being blown around.

She said the area had received patches of rainfall but none that had managed to fall over Eldee and other neighbouring stations.

At the moment, Ms Schmidt’s husband, Stephen, has had to cart water daily from Silverton back to the property for stock, house use and visitors after running out of surface water.

Their last dam ran out of water at Eldee Station two weeks ago.

Ms Schmidt said a lot of neighbouring properties were now carting water as well, with some dams almost dry. 

Other properties still have dam water, but have totally destocked.

Ms Schmidt said from past experience with droughts, the big dry in Silverton roughly lasts around four years.

She hopes to get some significant rains towards the end of this year as 2020 is the fourth year of the drought for them.

“But I hope it rains before then, I hope it does, but that past experience is four years is dry,” Ms Schmidt said.

However, she agreed it was perfect conditions for a possible sequel for Mad Max Fury Road.

The blockbuster movie switched locations in 2011 due to the Broken Hill area being too green after recent heavy rains had ruined the arid landscape the film required.

“It would be ideal I should think,” Ms Schmidt said.

© Copyright 2020 Barrier Daily Truth, All Rights Reserved. ABN: 38 684 603 658