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Head Of Murray River Authority Concedes Chunks Of Basin "Lost Or Changed Forever" By Climate Shift

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:09 PM
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Head Of Murray River Authority Concedes Chunks Of Basin "Lost Or Changed Forever" By Climate Shift
PARTS of the River Murray's ecology will be lost or changed forever by the drought and global warming, the head of the new Murray Darling Basin Authority says.

In his first interview with The Advertiser since being appointed chairman and chief executive of the soon-to-be-operational Murray Darling Basin Authority, Rob Freeman said the body would achieve a world first when it established a single plan for a river system covering both environmental and economic sustainability.

"No one has ever tried to work out environmentally sustainable limits on water extraction and then tried to maximise economic and social outcomes on top of that," the former South Australian public servant said. "We looked at examples in Africa and the U.S. and this will be a world first." The new authority replaces the former Murray Darling Basin Commission which had limited powers over the system as a whole and did not set an overall cap on extractions.


He said some aspects of the system would inevitably be lost. "We probably won't be able to keep all of the environmental assets that we have today, particularly in a world that's going to be drier and more episodic," he said. "We won't have the same environment that we've got today, there's no doubt about that, and even if we dedicated all the water today to just trying to preserve the environment, that's not going to happen."

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