The drought!

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The drought!

Postby jollyroger » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:06 pm

I know it's been raining the preverbial cats and dogs on the east coast but we here down South are watching the evening news with a tinge of saddnes as the rain falls in Qld and NSW.

We have a "Shack" on the River Murray. Not far upstream from Mannum for those who care. We not far from the end of the locks as the Murray heads towards the sea.
Blanchetown is the last of the locks before it reaches Lake Alexandrina and then the sea. They have high water levels at the moment upstream from Blanchetown as does everyone east from there. especially the cotton growers in QLD (why do we grow cotton in Aust near the Murray?)

Thought I would just show how we are going down here. It's eally starting to become dire! We need rain badly. Apparently we need six weeks of constant heavy rain to be out of drought. WOW! :shock:

First shot: The water usually laps the grass.
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This is the mud from the backwash "swamp"
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One good thing to come out of this is derad Carp!
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This is the other side of the river from us. it should be full of water and Pelicans etc..
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I have never seen it this bad EVER! :?
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Postby will_deness » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:02 am

Cotton is one of the most unsustainable crops to grow,(needs lots of water,insecticides and fertilizers)especially in poor countries where they have to grow cotton to pay world bank debts, when they could be using that land to grow their own food.
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Postby amanda » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:28 am

I wish we could send some of ours your way. It feels like it's been raining since Christmas. We are still in drought, but nowhere near as bad as what you poor things in the south are suffering. My sister who lives in Geelong was telling me that hers and about every 1 in 5 homes are now suffereing huge structural cracks due to the drought - and as usual the insurance companies won't cover it.
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt - then it's bloody hilarious!
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Postby Komodo » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:04 am

Normally structural cracks shrink when it does finally rain.

This drought is one of the worst "recorded" droughts in Australian history. But I'm yet to be convinced that it is one of the worst this land has ever seen.

I think this has been a very steep learning curve for us as a nation and I think we have seen some great australian innovation because of it. I hope once this drought does finally break we never see a drought like this what affects our drinking water supplies like this again.

The Murry will recover I have not a doubt of that. But i do think its time we saw the cotton industry in this country close its doors. We are a very rich country in many ways IF we sustain it properly. If we dont we could become a very "poor" land in many ways
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Postby will_deness » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:56 pm

Komodo wrote:I think this has been a very steep learning curve for us as a nation and I think we have seen some great australian innovation because of it. I hope once this drought does finally break we never see a drought like this what affects our drinking water supplies like this again.

The Murry will recover I have not a doubt of that. But i do think its time we saw the cotton industry in this country close its doors. We are a very rich country in many ways IF we sustain it properly. If we dont we could become a very "poor" land in many ways

I hope your right about our river, but we dont seem to be learning the lessons from the aral sea and the Colorado River for example which has been on the blackboard for the last fifty plus years.
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Re: The drought!

Postby will_deness » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:25 pm

jollyroger wrote:
We have a "Shack" on the River Murray. Not far upstream from Mannum for those who care.


Thought I would just show how we are going down here. It's eally starting to become dire! We need rain badly. Apparently we need six weeks of constant heavy rain to be out of drought. WOW! :shock:

Well according to some locals the drought isn't so bad,Especially if your after the tourism dollars
"Mannum Motel owner-manager David Hartley said the river "is the best I have ever seen it.
There are a lot more sandbars for kids to play on or for skiers to use" he said. "Last year
there were maybe three sandbanks from Mannum to Murray Bridge but now there are
hundreds. The water is quite clear, about 90cm to 1.2m of visibility and not the murky
brown we normally see. Another positive is that the bird life is now more concentrated
because they haven't got the back waters to go into"

excerpt from http://www.murrayriver.com.au/menus/facts.htm
Bird life more concentrated a good thing? more competition for food and greater risk of disease and sickness :(
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Postby Troyk » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:22 pm

This may not be due to the drought.

When the Warrego River flooded Charleville a few weeks ago, the floodwater should have travelled down the Darling River and made appearence at Alexandrina.

Didn't happen. When the water travelled down into Nort West NSW, they didn't get the rain, their extraction pumps were running full time (called flood harvesting) and presto no more floodwater!. But as everyone said we will probalby have a bumper cotton crop. :grin:
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Postby will_deness » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:41 pm

Troyk wrote:This may not be due to the drought.

When the Warrego River flooded Charleville a few weeks ago, the floodwater should have travelled down the Darling River and made appearence at Alexandrina.

Didn't happen. When the water travelled down into Nort West NSW, they didn't get the rain, their extraction pumps were running full time (called flood harvesting) and presto no more floodwater!. But as everyone said we will probalby have a bumper cotton crop. :grin:


Diverting water away from it's natural water course is fatal to a river. Dams even though they aren't so great,at least keep the water in the water course(just slows down the flow).
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Postby jollyroger » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:49 pm

Once the flood waters hot Menidee Lakes that's it for us. They soak up a lot of water. The Victorians (not trying to be parocial) hold alot back for farmng too. They have water allocations for farming as do we.

But the Murry is sick-but not dying. Drought is a naturall occurance. Forecaters are saying we are in in a La Ninia which is the opposite of the El Ninio. My fingers are well and truley crossed for the rain. The water restrictions are tough - but they need to stay. I for one am glad my front yard is dead. I hate gardening.
:?#
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Postby will_deness » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:45 pm

jollyroger wrote:
But the Murry is sick-but not dying.

I would say very sick, with the fact native fish levels are at approx 10% of what they were in pre European settlement times.
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Postby Komodo » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:15 am

IMO the water restrictions are garbage.

In all seriousness stage 3a is what I would deem as the start of water restrictions.
With stage 1 - 3 you would had to have been going out of your way nearly to waste water for them to really affect you.
Its good though that this drought has made councils see the importance of rain water tanks. I'm trying to convince dad and our land lord here at work to install some large rain water tanks for toilet flushing etc as we have 22,000 sq/m of roof - thats a lot of area to collect rain water! And you wouldnt need much rain to fill a very large tank. Now we arent big water users in our industry - but every bit counts.
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Postby jollyroger » Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:11 pm

Not sure what levels restrictions everwhere is? But we are on level 4 which means we can only water once a week in a 2 hour window. No cars to be washed unless with a bucket and on grass.

But they still allow morons to install and fill new swiming pools. I just don't get it. It has been proven that watering gardens is only 7% of all water consumption. Industry is the biggest user of water then evaporation then us. Not to say we can't learn to use less water either.
We were given an large inflatable pool for Xmas. I refuse to put it up and fill it on principle. There is a drought ::() and the kids can go without until later - or we use someones elses.
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Postby amanda » Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:32 pm

We've been on level 6 - but I think the Qld level 6 is completely different to Victorian level 6, which in turn is different to SA level 6 etc. Our level 6 sounds like your level 4 - no hand held hoses at all, no washing cars at all (windows and mirrors the only exception), bucket watering of gardens 3 days a week from 4.00pm to 7.00pm. But now that our local dam is at 100% and losing huge amounts of water of the spillway every day, these restrictions have been relaxed somewhat. We have had a couple of "wet weekends' where we have been allowed to hose down windows, walls, cars etc. however still no filling of swimming pools.
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt - then it's bloody hilarious!
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Postby ScottyB » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:12 pm

I think most droughts have ended with floods, as we are seeing here in Qld, although govts and everyone else is very careful not to actually say the drought has broken. Tell that to someone with 3ft of water in their loungeroom..... There are cattle properties up in the northwest that are 80% underwater, talk about feast or famine....

Hold on you guys down south, the rain will come. Nobody up here was expecting the amount of rain that has come.
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Postby Ozzycamperboy » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:30 pm

ScottyB wrote:
Hold on you guys down south, the rain will come. Nobody up here was expecting the amount of rain that has come.


I flamin hope so. Going to fab up a snorkel soon just in case :armsup
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