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Greens question water strategy

Tuesday, 30th December, 2014

An aerial shot taken by local photographer Robin Sellick this month shows the sorry state of Umberumberka reservoir. An aerial shot taken by local photographer Robin Sellick this month shows the sorry state of Umberumberka reservoir.

Stop releasing water and help clean out Umberumberka reservoir.

That’s the message from Greens NSW water spokesman Jeremy Buckingham who has written to Minister for Water, Kevin Humphries, to demand action for the city.

He asked why water was still being released from the Menindee Lakes System when Broken Hill was facing a severe water shortage, and also called for the removal of silt from the now-empty Umberumberka Reservoir near Silverton.

“I’ve written to Minister Humphries asking why around 130 megalitres a day continued to be released from the Menindee Lakes System when Broken Hill is staring down the barrel of severe water shortages,” Mr Buckingham said yesterday.

“It would seem prudent to reduce outflows to a minimum now rather than later. 

“I understand that unless there are significant inflows, releases from the Menindee Lakes System will be reduced to 40 megalitres by April or May 2015. 

“I am asking whether this more stringent regime should be implemented sooner rather than later.”

Mr Buckingham added that now was the perfect time to clean out Umberumberka reservoir and buy back the Cubbie Station cotton farm and return the water to the rivers.

“Long-term, the health of the Darling River needs to be revived by reducing the amount of water taken by upstream irrigation and ensuring the small to medium-sized floods can make it to the Lower Darling. 

“The Greens released a plan earlier this month that includes the NSW Government buying the Cubbie Station cotton irrigation project and returning the significant amounts of water it diverts and stores back into the Culgoa and Darling rivers.”

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