Water Week

EWN Publishing

South Australia government takes 200 gigalitres of water from River Murray as reserve for critical urban and industrial use in 2008-09

Posted by waterweek on 8 October 2007

According to rural editor Nigel Austin, Riverland citrus growers accuses the State Government of stealing their water and sending them to ruin, as many prepared to stop irrigation and leave their trees to die.

Citrus Growers SA chairman Kent Andrew said Government had taken 200 gigalitres of water from the River Murray this year and placed it in a reserve for critical urban and industrial use for 2008-09 reported The Advertiser (6/10/2007), p. 18, He said;

• growers were being forced to buy extra water at more than 10 times the normal price;

• while the Government was taking its water for free. Andrew said the Government was contributing to the impending death of crops throughout the Riverland. He urged it to immediately make 150 gigalitres of water from the reserve available to growers to pre­vent the death of permanent plant­ings and help stop the devastation of river communities.

Citrus trees die: Loxton citrus grower Ron Gray planned to turn the water off and leave his trees to die as soon as his valencia crop is picked two weeks from now. “Only 300 growers of 1500 farmers in the Central Irrigation Trust have bought water this year, which means a large amount of irrigated crops will die,” he said.

The Advertiser, 6/10/2007, p. 18

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