Rice and cotton upset the flow

I AGREE with Greeni and Irrigator (Inbox, March 20) that cotton and rice farms are a major problem that has been caused by absolute incompetent management, not only by politicians, but by the interests that have lobbied politicians over the years.

 But we can’t also ignore climate change, inflows into the Murray Darling over the past 20 years averaged 6560 gigalitres (including last year’s high flows) are down 39 per cent or 4195 gigalitres from the long-term (126 years) average of 10,755 gigalitres.

 If you compare the previous 60 years (1938 to 1997) which would cover most memories the average inflows were 12,123 gigalitres the figures are much worse – down 5563 gigalitres or 46 per cent.

While the effects of climate change are being debated, these figures should not be ignored because unless they improve, with more water running into the rivers,  the Darling might not be the only river to dry up.

Lindsay Leake, 

Mildura

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