Thursday, September 11, 2008

Australia buys huge farm to save dying river

Here is some good news on the Murray-Darling River. The Toorale station (mainly cotton but also does other things) has been purchased by the Australian government - allowing 20 gigaliters of water to be returned to the river system.

Australia buys huge farm to save dying river

By Rob Taylor


CANBERRA (Reuters) - An irrigation farm larger than Singapore and sucking up billions of liters of water each year has been bought by Australia's government to help save one of the country's most vital rivers from a slow death and climate change.

Toorale Station, a cotton farm covering 910 sq km (351 sq miles) in the west of New South Wales state, was sold to the national and state governments for almost US$19 million, one day before it was set to go to auction.

The purchase will allow 20 gigaliters -- equivalent to 20,000 Olympic swimming pools -- to be returned each year to the ailing Darling River, which is one of two streams flowing through the Murray-Darling basin, home to almost half the nation's farms.

"Returning this water to the Darling will begin to turn around the long-term decline of this once great river," Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said on Thursday.

More here

UPDATE: CSIRO report into water availability in the Murray-Darling River

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