Friday 21st of June 2019

water in australia...


of drought and water duffing...

About 300 billion litres of environmental water has been "lost" in the Murray-Darling Basin in recent years as farmers have been heavily subsidised to improve their irrigation practices, according to a leading water scientist.

John Williams, a foundation member of the Wentworth Group and a former chief of CSIRO Land and Water, said the volume of water loss is 50 to 100 times greater than the allegations of illegal pumping and fraud in the Barwon and Darling Rivers exposed by Four Corners earlier this week.

Dr Williams told RN Breakfast that the problem was occurring across the entire Basin because the Murray-Darling Plan had not addressed the problem of "return flows".

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Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has accused the ABC's Four Corners program of taking part in a campaign to take more water away from irrigators, which would shut down towns.

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buying back water and selling it under the table...

“A couple of nights ago on Four Corners, you know what that’s all about? It’s about them trying to take more water off you, trying to create a calamity. A calamity for which the solution is to take more water off you, shut more of your towns down.”

His comments are at odds with his press conference on Wednesday when he likened water thieves to cattle and sheep thieves, saying people who broke the law would be dealt with by the proper processes. At that time he said he would wait for the findings of a NSW inquiry and then take the matter to the Council of Australian Governments.

But on Thursday, Joyce told a session of Politics in the Pub that it was part of an environmental campaign and the Nationals would not fold.

A spokesman for Joyce doubled down on the minister’s comments, saying the program was part of a radical green movement which wanted to throw out the Murray-Darling Basin plan in favour of the failed water buybacks conducted under the Labor government.

“Four Corners did not approach Barnaby Joyce, the federal water minister, they were only interested in radical greens organisations like the Environmental Defender’s Office,” he said.

The fallout over water management continues after ABC’s Four Corners program reported that billions of litres of water bought by taxpayers to return to the environment under the Murray-Darling Basin plan were being allegedly pumped out by some irrigators for cotton growing in northern NSW.

Four Corners also revealed recordings of the deputy director general of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Gavin Hanlon, allegedly offering to share internal “debranded” government information with a group of irrigators via a Dropbox account. Hanlon has referred the matter to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. Guardian Australia has contacted Hanlon for comment.

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The Turnbull government is cavalier with everything and does not care one hoot about regulatory legislation. All Turdbull cares about is keeping his slim majority of liberals (conservative) against the Liberals (CONservatives led by lying double-crosser idiot evangelical Turdy Abbott ) in his own party.

even the minister is thieving water for his mates...

The New South Wales regional water minister, Niall Blair, has quietly granted himself the power to approve illegal floodplain works retrospectively.

A Wentworth Group scientist, Jamie Pittock, has accused the NSW government of actively undermining the Murray-Darling basin plan as revelations have continued about the state government’s management of the river system.

Since Four Corners report raised allegations of water theft and secret meetings between a senior NSW water bureaucrat and a small number of irrigators,Blair is under increasing pressure over his water responsibilities.

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We all should be up in arms!...

unusual dry...

Alex Kean didn't expect to be buying into an arid property when he purchased his 40-0dd hectare block near Merriwa in the Upper Hunter a decade ago.

Now he looks out on a barren landscape that would be more common much further inland, rather than a couple of hours from Sydney.

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the drought continues...

As some farmers struggle through their fifth or sixth consecutive year of drought and dry conditions spread across other parts of Australia, there is a push to overhaul national drought support.

Key points:
  • AgForce wants to see immediate ongoing relief for farmers
  • Some farmers are struggling through their fifth or sixth consecutive year of drought
  • But the cap for income assistance from the Federal Government is only three years


Farmers in Queensland — where two-thirds of the state is still officially drought-declared despite flooding rains in some areas last month — are calling on the Federal Government to immediately extend drought relief.

The Farm Household Allowance (FHA) provides financial support and future planning for farmers who are experiencing hardships.

But they can access the FHA for a total of only three years out of every seven.

The ABC can reveal that, as of April 20, federal Agriculture Department figures showed nearly 2,300 farmers and/or their partners across the country were no longer eligible for FHA because they had reached the three-year limit.


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no pasture...

In the south-west corner of NSW’s Liverpool plains, in an area called Bundella, farmer Megan Kuhn runs beef cattle and merino sheep with her husband, Martin.

They have 400 breeding cows that will calve in six weeks. Shortly, 89 of those cows will leave the property, sold to an abattoir because the cost of feeding the animals during drought has become too great.

“There is nowhere to send them to pasture so they are going to be slaughtered,” Kuhn says.

“We’re killing a cow and a calf at this late stage of pregnancy. The drought is so widespread there’s just no options left for stock producers to put them anywhere. That’s why it’s so heartbreaking.


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the big drought... likely to get worse...

Cattle and sheep farmer Bev Hicks breaks down in tears as she points out her dying trees.

"My trees, they're 100 years old and I'm losing them," she says. "Things like that really do devastate you."

Ms Hicks is based near Denman in the Upper Hunter region of NSW where many landholders are running out of water. And they are not alone.

Ninety-eight per cent of NSW and around two-thirds of Queensland is in drought or drought-affected, with pastures turned to rubble and the cost of freight and feed skyrocketing.


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Read from top... The worry is that this drought has happened during a La Nina... As we are going towards an El Nino, it's likely to get worse...


The ENSO Outlook remains at El Niño WATCH.

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral. While oceanic and atmospheric indicators remain within neutral bounds, waters at and below the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean have steadily warmed towards El Niño thresholds in recent months. The latest outlooks from eight international climate models suggest that this warming is likely to continue in the coming months, with five of eight models reaching El Niño thresholds in spring. A sixth model reaches El Niño thresholds in December. These factors have satisfied the El Niño WATCH criteria.

El Niño WATCH means that there is approximately a 50% chance of El Niño developing in 2018, which is about twice the normal likelihood. El Niño WATCH is not a guarantee that El Niño will occur; it is an indication that some of the typical precursors of an event are in place. 

Further information on the current status of ENSO can be found in the ENSO Wrap-Up, linked below.


Of course this kind of drought was one of the prediction by Tim Flannery which was laughed because when he said it, "it was raining"... Please visit:

meanwhile scomo tells god to open the tap...

The Prime Minister has asked us to pray for rain. Amid a powerful drought, Scott Morrison gave a speech last week where he said:

It's great to see it raining here in Albury today. I pray for that rain everywhere else around the country. And I do pray for that rain. And I'd encourage others who believe in the power of prayer to pray for that rain and to pray for our farmers. Please do that.

For many Christians, this was a small but encouraging gesture: the nation's most prominent public official acknowledging that rain is a blessing we receive as gift, an expression of our dependence upon a whole network of creaturely relationships overseen by a Creator.

Yet, for many atheists, it was a small but offensive gesture: the national leader talking to a sky fairy, embracing and promoting irrational superstition. Some responded on social media with angry mockery, warning of theocracy or taking the opportunity to criticise Morrison's particular brand of Christianity.

As a Christian, I found Morrison's comment to be offensive. But not because a Prime Minister speaks publicly of prayer or is open about his Christian beliefs.

Rather, what I find truly offensive is the profound disconnect between his professed prayers and the pro-coal - and thus anti-farmer - agenda of his government. To pray when facing a crisis like widespread drought is not the problem. But when the government Morrison leads has spent many years doing little or nothing about the root causes of the warming that is worsening such extreme weather, then inviting the nation to pray in response is somewhat galling.

The Coalition does not have a climate policy. While paying lip service to Australia's thoroughly inadequate national pledge towards the Paris Agreement, the Coalition has no mechanism to reduce emissions, and is committed to many policies that actively make the situation worse:

  • huge subsidies and very generous tax arrangements for coal, oil and gas;
  • threatening states that seek to limit gas extraction;
  • consistently seeking to water down international agreements (most recently at the Pacific Islands Forum);
  • opening up more native forests to clearing;
  • giving the green light to almost every proposed fossil fuel project;
  • watering down the Renewable Energy Target and criticising clean energy constantly;
  • thwarting investment stability;
  • ruling out any price on carbon;
  • attacking state governments that seek to reduce emissions;
  • cutting funding for climate research;
  • largely ignoring the public health effects from coal extraction and combustion;
  • abolishing the Climate Council;
  • ignoring the Climate Authority and then stacking it with pro-business figures;
  • misrepresenting climate science in public discourse;
  • offering the equivalent of the drug dealer's defence ("if we stopped exporting coal, another country would meet the demand");
  • attacking the funding of environmental NGOs;
  • operating a revolving door between government and the fossil fuel industry; and
  • failing to protect the Great Barrier Reef from bleaching while directing significant funds to an organisation that barely mentions climate change.

The list could go on.

So when then Treasurer Morrison brought a lump of coal into the Parliamentary chamber to use as a prop during the height of a record-breaking heatwave in February 2017, the symbolism was deliberate and obvious. When he became Prime Minister and appointed an anti-wind campaigner as energy minister, a former mining industry lawyer as environment minister and the former deputy CEO of the Minerals Council as his new chief of staff, he left no doubt that the Coalition's legacy of climate inaction would continue under his watch.


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Note: Gus is a rabid fierce atheist... and an expert on global warming. Scomo is a loony self-ignorant brat with a new toy: the paddle of the bully gang, by default.


see also:

enlightenment in the old school...


same breed...


climate fatigue...


wearing a beige cardigan on a hot day at the beach because mum said so...


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an extended dry season...

The drought in Australia is having an impact on its neighbours, with 5 million people in Indonesia suffering from an extended dry season. 

Hot, dry air intensified by drought conditions in Australia has circulated north, contributing to water shortages in 4,000 Indonesian villages. 

Pak Siswanto, the director of climatology at Indonesia's Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency, said the weather conditions in Indonesia followed on from what was happening in its larger southern neighbour.

"The dry season in Indonesia is actually forced by the wind circulation coming from Australian continent," he said. 

"When we have dry air and less moisture circulated from Australia toward Indonesia, it modulates the dry season in Indonesia."


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god finally answers morrison's prayer: flooding...

Heavy rain is expected to continue to fall in Sydney for most of the day after an overnight drenching, while farmers in drought-stricken parts of NSW have been celebrating the wet weather's arrival.

Several areas across the city received at least 70mm of rain overnight, including Sydney Olympic Park and Peakhurst, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. 

Some of the highest totals were recorded in the Illawarra, including at Mount Pleasant near Wollongong which received 77mm.


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Read above, especially:

meanwhile scomo tells god to open the tap...


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still slim and dusty...

It's not good. Not good at all. 

The hot dry summer has stripped the soils of moisture, water storages are down in every state and territory, and New South Wales is drowning in dust. 

Key points:
  • Water stores are down in every state and territory 
  • Keepit dam is empty and Dubbo's dam could be empty by 2020
  • A hot and dry summer has exacerbated low soil moisture, with a dry autumn forecast


So far this drought has been short but hard-hitting. The coming cold season will be a test of that descriptor. 

Last year's national farm production was down on the bumper year of 2016, but a good year in the west, decent prices and some moisture last summer softened the blow. 

But with widespread low soil moisture, the pressure is on the arrival of cool-season rain. 

The heat is making things worse 

Lynette Bettio, a climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, said the big dry was affecting large parts of NSW, eastern South Australia and parts of the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia.

And despite the flooding rains in the north, even Queensland isn't off the hook. 

"The floods largely missed those areas of drought that we were covering," Dr Bettio said.

"It did relieve some of those areas; those large totals of rainfall meant that some areas near the border with the NT are no longer in that bottom 10 per cent for those [drought-measuring] periods.


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All going according to "plan" as prophetised by Tim Flannery (and poopooed by the morons — such as Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones — of the rubbish media) a few years ago... And with El Nino coming on, things aren't going to improve...


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As summer in Australia was the "warmest ever recorded", March is on the same path... Temperatures in Sydney are still about 5 degrees above average — and on days when the wind is "from the south", the temperature is about 8 degrees above "what it should be"... 

warmest start to a year...

Australia has just recorded its warmest start to a year, while the national water storage has fallen to its lowest level in five years at just 46.4 per cent of capacity. 

We're not talking millennium drought levels just yet, but in Sydney water restrictions start from this weekend, and all capital city water storages are down from a year ago, bar Perth. 

Despite recent rain, and snow even in the past few days, soil moisture levels remain relatively low for large parts of the east and west coasts. 

So is this the winter when it could all turn around, when the skies open, the soil gets nicely damp and the dams fill?

The current outlook suggests not.

What's the water situation? 

The New South Wales total of 24.9 per cent is the lowest of all states and territories. Sydney's water capacity is at 53.5 per cent following a pretty steady decline since mid 2017.


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