Wednesday, May 05, 2010


There is no way around it - Facebook is a poor substitute for just saying what I want to say about whatever is on my mind (without distraction).

- Water - I feel somewhat vindicated in my thought that reduced allocations, water buybacks, desalination plants, compulsory water tanks were not going to "fix" the Murray-Darling: All we needed was just a good sequence of floods, which incidentally make some or most of those fixes look foolish in hindsight. However, trading of water, infrastructure for transmission and efficiency, and even dams/water storages help both in drought and to manage the bounty of floods.

As far as the Lake Eyre basin is concerned, There is such an inland sea of evaporative ponds (lake Yamma-Yamma, Coongie Lakes, Bulloo lakes, lake hope, Goyder's lagoon, Warburton Lakes, Diamantina lakes, lake Blanche, Lake frome, as well ase now Lake Eyre South and North) that in the medium term, it should be considered that it would generate "coastal showers" for the inland basins of Australia, hopefully extending a run of higher runoffs.See: Lake Eyre Status and

Latest satellite images for images and data on water in the deserts.


Chris Fellows said...

I am still thinking about how land use in the upper catchments areas is affecting/may have affected the Murray-Darling.

First European contact with the Darling was of a river too salty to drink. Maps of up here at the same time show forested country with lots of swamps along the headwaters.

Late 19th century - massive landclearing everywhere, no more swamps, increased runoff, golden age of navigation and pastoral development on the Murray-Darling.

From then on we have an ever improving effort by landholders everywhere upstream to keep the rain where it falls... as I've said before, there are so many on-farm catchments it a miracle anything gets to the rivers... so my postulate is that both the historical wet times and the present dry times are anthropogenic.

Marco said...

That is probably a fair assessment - especially for the Darling. To look at a part of the Darling that has remain unchanged, see the Paroo catchment, which is claypan overflows, swamp and bush - rarely reaching the Darling. The Cooper catchment is also similar. The "usage losses" to the flow are really only replacing the "transmission losses" of the weird somewhat distributary patterns of drainage before human intervention.