diverted for farm irrigation, dams and towns use of its waters, the once-mighty Murray river at present flows into the sea in a trickle. Worse, the river has a high level of pollution by the time it enters the sea near Adelaide, capital of the state of South Australia.
At its source in southeast Australia, the waters of the Murray are crystal clear. But the river in Adelaide carries with it large quantities of agricultural chemicals, salt and other pollutants -- all due to unsustainable farm management practices. Premier John Oslen of South Australia recently threatened to pass legislation that would confer on his state the power to take legal action against those in other states who are responsible for polluting the river and also for the costs incurred by South Australia to clean it.
The Murray is the main source of drinking water for Adelaide. But last year an official report issued a warning that if the river was not cleaned up, its water would be undrinkable within 20 years. Meanwhile, a private company that has been given charge to clean up the Murray has admitted that it is unable to give consumers any guarantee of protection against certain parasite infections.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.