Following is a note and link to photographs from a Murrumbidgee farmer with a rice crop that is withstanding the deluge, but she can’t say the same for the orchards and vineyards that many misguided folk in Sydney would prefer to see growing in our land of drought or flooding rains…
Here are some photos showing the extent of the flooding in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.
I want everyone to know that this is clearly showing that the flood plains that we live and work on and that we are therefore custodians of, have precious little to do with the Murrumbidgee river.
The river is not flooding here yet, and the majority of what you see here will not flood when the river peaks at Narrandera and Darlington Point in the next few days. The exception will be the Roache’s escape photo because that may not clear before the river rises. It would not normally flood there but it may still remain backed up.
There is extensive damage here and the water will hang around for longer than the river flood waters.
I can already hear the PR babble from the ‘political agenda’ that this is unprecedented and that there is nothing that could be done other than follow their impractical rules.
Let me assure you that is not the case and those who possess generational knowledge knew exactly what was about to happen once those heavy rains started belting down onto the already saturated surrounding hills and ranges.
It has happened before and will no doubt happen again.
That is why it’s so flat here. That is why we have expanded and enhanced our flood plain wetland ecology here by developing the MIA.
That is why our forefathers had the vision to develop this area.
We will also clean up the mess and move on as we always invariably do.
I am very curious to know how the 3 major MDB rivers flooding yet again will impact those ‘end of system flows’.
I am also wondering how the Murray Darling Basin Authority, CEWH, New South Wales Office of Water, Snowy Hhydro Ltd et. al. will attempt to justify storing environmental water and enhancing flooding events under the current conditions.
I’m positive all those Ramsar birds are completely ignorant of the fact that they have apparently been assisted by the Federal government and actually I’m positive they never cared.
At the moment, our area looks like it could be used as a setting for the Hitchcock movie ‘The Birds’. Not one cent of taxpayer money or current water policy had anything at all to do with that.
Our own highly variable and highly unpredictable land ‘of drought and flooding rains’ has just proceeded to solve all the stated problems in the current political ‘water reform’ agenda all by itself.
They do not have a practical plan or a sensible management principle to cater for the blatantly obvious ‘other side of the coin’ let alone the fact that they can’t produce water out of thin air or run the Murray in a severe drought as if it was a pressurised pipe.
There is no joy however in claiming ‘we told you so’
It would be wonderful if our current crop of politicians and bureaucrats would actually recognise that most of what we already know and most of what we already have done recognises the need for flexibility.
Instead we are watching them all scramble to protect their position and protect their inflexible and counter productive rules.
Parochial politics is dismissing what we have all learned. It is also highlighting the mistakes we have not fixed yet instead of allowing us to fix them. I will also add that most of the mistakes, including over allocating unregulated river flows and refusing to upgrade or finish existing infrastructures (including those SA nightmares) were made by poor government policy, not by the people who live and work there.
The majority of the rice crops are fine. Ours look magnificent and they’re hosting a cacophony of native wetland species. Strangely, as we all knew, they all came back when the drought broke. Even the supposedly extinct ‘brown bitterns ‘ and numerous other supposedly endangered species of frogs, birds etcetera.
The same cannot be said for those ‘high value’ permanent plantings that the Wentworth Group et al have loudly claimed (until very recently) were much more efficient and cost effective crops to produce. Those crops are in severe trouble and some have been irreparably damaged.
As I said, there is no joy in trying to be smug. There is a part of me however that wants to dump those ‘concerned scientists’ right in the middle of Yenda.
There are a lot of people here who will need help and support. More still will be flooded out by our river in the next few days.
I sincerely hope the current political agenda does not further damage their fragile self esteem as it has done by misrepresenting them as ‘environmental vandals’.
Any who read this and are struggling with the flooding, I am thinking of you and hoping that you and your hard won assets manage to get through and survive so that you can continue to be the productive custodians of our beautiful but harsh land that you always have been.
Murrami, Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area