NSW Government fails to respond to regional water supply crisis

MEDIA RELEASE – 12 Feb 2014

The Greens NSW spokesperson on agriculture Jeremy Buckingham today condemned the NSW Government for leaving regional communities exposed to a water supply crisis by wilfully and recklessly ignoring the science of climate change.

“A 2007 report by the CSIRO clearly predicted there will be more hot days, bushfires, droughts and intense storms in the Lachlan catchment from climate change and this is what we are seeing now”

(http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/climatechange/LachlanDetailedFinal.pdf)

“The NSW Government has utterly failed to respond meaningfully to the unprecedented heat and rapid drought that has been made worse by climate change, and is now devastating agriculture and undermining water security.”

“The town of Gunning is currently on level 5 water restrictions and reports are that if they don’t get any rain in the next week or two they will need eight semi-trailers of water a day from Crookwell.  Similarly Walcha will run out of water in the next 6 -8 weeks if they do not see significant rain.”

“Major regional water storages such as the Burrendong and Wyangla dams are becoming critically low and yet the government has not had the decency to acknowledge the problem that communities face by declaring drought effected areas.

“This water crisis was entirely foreseeable after the Millennium drought devastated Orange, Oberon and Goulburn but the NSW Government and National Party are dominated by climate sceptics who refuse to undertake the serious regional planning required to meet the challenges of this century.”

“A major international report has come out today predicting that an El Niño will form later this year which will add to the pressure facing farmers and the environment as a result of the drought.”

(http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-11/el-nino-prediction/5251800)

“The science has also told us that by 2030 we can expect the climate of Forbes to be similar to the current climate of Warren, over 200 km to the North West.”

“The Wyangla Dam is currently at 45% capacity and the Burrendong Dam is at 16% capacity with both storages declining rapidly.”

The Greens have welcomed the announcement today that drought assistance measures will be extended to an additional 20 LGAs but are calling on the NSW Government to introduce a package of assistance and investment in water infrastructure and efficiency that recognises our hotter, drier climate.

 

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

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