I’ve already complained about ABC Online incorrectly reporting that water levels in the Murray River are at historic lows. The article, published on 17th August, confused low water inflows with low water levels, the journalist apparently unaware that the Murray River ran dry in 1914.
Instead of correcting the story, journalist Sarah Clark has now repeated the misinformation with some quotes from WWF activist Alison Colyer. In a piece entitled ‘Fish at risk as rivers run dry’ published on 7th September, it is suggested that the record low water levels are going to result in the extinction of Murray Cod.
I asked a farmer, Daryl McDonald, who lives near the river to take some photographs for me. He went back to the spot at Riversdale where the river ran dry in 1914 so we could see how the river looks today, relative to 1914 when water levels were really low. This is what he emailed just yesterday:
And he included the following note:
Hi Jen, Pics from Riversdale as near as we can figure to the site of the original photo of the buggy.
River is flowing nicely today at around 4120 ML/day @ 80 EC. Quite amazing considering we have had the lowest inflows on record. It should be noted that South Australia still expects its guaranteed 1850 GL/p.a., while N.S.W irrigators have a zero allocation, and the Vics are on ~50% of their average 160% Water Right. Cheers, Daryl McD.
Remember that 1914 photograph from Riversdale:
I’ve previously disputed claims that the Murray Cod is in trouble, including in my monograph ‘Myth and the Murray: Measuring the Real State of the River Environment’ published by the IPA in December 2003.