The federal government's proposed water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin are a vital initiative to restore the health of Australia’s major river system, says Professor of Ecology Catherine Yule of the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The Restoring our Rivers legislation raised in the media today by the Australian Government and Australian Greens is set for debate in the Senate this week.
Professor Yule comments:
"Australia is the driest inhabited continent and consequently much of the fauna and flora are adapted to arid climates.
"But aridity is an extreme condition, and life is difficult.
"When we take water from their environment, we can push the flora and fauna to the limits of their survival, and over the edge to extinction.
"Returning environmental flows closer to their natural levels provides the platypus, rikali (water ‘rats’), fish, frogs, crayfish and other invertebrates the water they need to survive.
"Extracting too much water stops rivers from flowing, leading to a build-up of toxic pollutants including pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers.
"Too many nutrients can cause extensive algal growths which smother the surface resulting in deoxygenation and fish kills.
"Often these algae are toxic to humans, livestock and wildlife.
"When water stops flowing it warms up and becomes deoxygenated, conditions that few species can survive.
"The water buybacks are a vital initiative to restore the health of Australia’s major river system."
Shining the spotlight on World Environment Day 20232 Jun 2023
To celebrate World Environment Day on 5 June, we've gathered stories from the last year highlighting some of the environmental action and research happening at UniSC.
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