Cotton kept going in northern Murray-Darling Basin, report finds

NEW research from The Australia Institute has found about 2000 gigalitres of water was used for cotton crops in the northern Murray-Darling Basin in the past year, while virtually no water made it downstream to Menindee.

The report Owing Down the River – Mortgaging the future flows of the Barwon-Darling/Barka River, to be released today, found more than 100,000 hectares of irrigated cotton was planted in the northern basin for this year’s crop despite the current drought, producing 1.2 million bales of cotton.

“At least 845 and perhaps as much as 1135GL of water will be applied to this crop and a further 1000GL likely evaporated while in storage before irrigation use,” the report’s summary says. 

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