Lakes reserve backed: Report says more water needed at Menindee

AN INQUIRY into rural water use has recommended the NSW Government increase the amount of water kept as a drought reserve at the Menindee Lakes.

But a parliamentary committee’s recommendation is at odds with the government’s actual plan to store less water at the lakes so the state’s Murray-Darling Basin Plan obligations can be met.

The recommendation was one of 51 published by the committee this week, which included a call for the government to renegotiate the terms of the basin plan with the Federal Government and other states, to seek a better deal.

“It was really good that the committee recognised the importance of the Menindee Lakes and that it needs to be preserved,” Pooncarie district landholder Rachel ­Strachan said.

Ms Strachan, who grows citrus fruit and wine grapes at Tulney Point Station, said even with Broken Hill supplied with Murray River water from a pipeline, farmers, towns and stock remained reliant on the Menindee Lakes as their sole water source.

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