Editorial by Andrew Gregson

The big issue for irrigators in NSW this quarter is obviously the Basin Plan. This edition of Productive Water has been written prior to it being released (at least formally – there are plenty of leaks about). We did contemplate holding this edition until the release had occurred, but “mid-November” was the best information we could find. We asked “what year?”, but didn’t get an answer…
We have been delighted with the reception that our first edition received. Mailed directly into the hands of around 8,500 irrigators across the State, the Journal proved a talking point for several weeks.
Inside this second edition you’ll find some more detailed pieces examining critical issues for irrigators. Southern Riverina Irrigators Executive Officer – and subject matter expert – Louise Burge provides an analysis of the vexed question of the lower Lakes. Louise has dedicated many, many hours to understanding this complex question and we’re delighted to publicise her work.
The second feature from our Sharing the Knowledge program, written by program coordinator and NSWIC Policy Analyst Mark Moore, is also inside. Whilst you’re reading this, that program will be touring Queensland examining what irrigators in that State are doing and sharing tips, tricks and local knowledge in a series of free forums. In the last edition, we featured interviews with key Federal players Minister Burke and Senator Joyce. In this edition, we move to a State focus with an interview with NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson.
We’re also delighted to be able to bring some coverage to the excellent work undertaken by Austin Evans from Coleambally Irrigation. It has irked NSWIC for some time that environmental lobbyists continue to spruik that “90% of wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin” have gone. We knew it just didn’t ring true – so Austin got to work uncovering where it came from. The fellow to whom it is accredited disowned the figure when Austin was finally able to track it down. Even in the face of the glaring truth, though, environmental lobby groups continue to use it.
Finally, given the Draft Basin Plan, an analysis of its underlying legislation – which we think is the root cause of the problem – is inside.

Read the full Productive Water Journal from Summer 2011 [HERE]