Danny Ballard from Barraba writes about the importance of our water resources.
“ACCESS to a secure, safe and sufficient source of water is a fundamental requirement for the survival, wellbeing and socio-economic development of all humanity. Yet we continue to act as if fresh water were a perpetually abundant resource. It is not.” – Kofi Annan.
Most people, particularly in rural Australia, know how important this resource is. However, I am concerned that many people have little idea how vitally important groundwater is.
Both our state and federal governments seem to be ignoring the fact – or at best seem to be willing to take a gamble on inland Australia’s most precious resource.
In a good year, groundwater use on farms in the Namoi region is about 50 per cent of total water use.
At the moment, in the grip of a severe drought, it is about 80 per cent of total water use, with some farms relying wholly and solely on groundwater as their only water source.
What if that water wasn’t there?
What if it was so polluted or salty that it was useless?
What if it was so far below the surface it was uneconomical to pump it to the surface?
The equation is rather simple.
Without water, it is impossible to grow crops or to raise livestock.
No water, no economy, no food.
Why on earth would anyone want to put inland Australia’s greatest resource at risk?
If you think the monitory gains of the short-term coal and gas bonanza are worth risking our groundwater for, great, that’s your prerogative.
If not, then don’t sit idly by and watch it happen. Do something.
Farmers and environmentalists can’t do it alone.
A good start would be to educate yourself on the importance of groundwater to inland NSW, then let our politicians know how you feel about their willingness to risk inland NSW’s greatest asset.