Owing down the river
Big irrigators first, communities later: River ‘owes’ water to cotton
The Barwon-Darling/Barka River is dry. But almost 2,000 gigalitres have been consumed by the irrigation industry this year while nothing has flowed to Menindee Lakes, the site of the summer fish kills. Despite this, the river actually ‘owes’ water to industry, ‘debts’ it is unlikely to repay due to climate change and policy settings.
This report was updated on 16 March 2019, correcting titles of graphs, clarifying data on cotton production in the northern Basin and correcting date of publication.
This report was further updated on 19 March, correcting an error in the Allocating future flows section.