Salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin: mirage or sleeping dragon?
The salinity threat posed to land and water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin was at the forefront of water policy and management initiatives throughout much of the second half of the 20th Century. In response to the salinity threat, monitoring and works programs have been implemented by partner governments under the Basin Salinity Management Strategy (BSMS) 2001-2015 and its predecessor (the Salinity and Drainage Strategy 1988). These programs and the transition to a drier climatic regime, has led to a substantial reduction in land and water salinization across the southern Basin. Looking beyond the life of the BSMS 2001-2015, implementation of the Basin Plan will substantially increase the flow regime in the river compared to the recent past. Hence further water quality improvements may be anticipated in the short term. On-the-other hand, the legacy of historic land use change may be yet to reach the river and hence poses a longer term threat to River Murray water salinity. Salt will always be a feature of the Australian landscape, but is it still the threat that was posed late in the last millennium? In light of uncertainty in climate and the future management of land and water resources, where to for Basin salinity management beyond 2015?
Greg Holland has been in the salinity game for over 25 years, having worked for state government, Goulburn-Murray Water, Murray-Darling Basin Commission and most recently, SKM and Jacobs. He will bring his insight and domain knowledge to cover the recent history of salinity management across south eastern Australia and what could be in store for the future.
Date: Tuesday December 16 2014
Time: Drinks and nibbles from 5:30pm for a 6pm start, Christmas function to follow presentation
Location: Jacobs, Level 16, 452 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC
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