Rain has started to bring wetlands back to life across the Murry-Darling Basin. For the first time in three years, Menindee Lakes has received significant flows resulting in the return of migratory birds.
It’s positive news and a relief for the community who have endured long and severe drought conditions, as well as the devastating fish kills in 2019.
"It's a great feeling, to be honest; lots of pelicans around, there's probably a thousand-odd pelicans up the river," local resident and grape grower Graeme McCrabb told ABC news.
“It's just nice to see it come down. It's been coming down for a few days and to see it finally get here, to be talking about releases instead of dead fish, yeah, it's fantastic."
The Menindee lake system is comprised of a series of ephemeral lakes located on the lower section of the Murray-Darling river system in far western New South Wales. Margaret Simons describes the critical role the Murray-Darling fulfils in terms of water distribution as “being like a tree, except the sap runs not from root to twigs but in the other direction.”
Local farmers were ecstatic when water initially started flowing back into the lakes, but flows could still continue for some time. WaterNSW estimates Menindee Lakes could receive a further 290-355 gigalitres of water in the weeks ahead, which would represent approximately 58-71% of the quantity of water in the Sydney Harbour.
- The drought and its associated impacts should be a reminder to us all to be conservative with our water. Check out these water saving tips from Planet Ark and Smart Approved Watermark to help get you started.
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