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a dying Murray River « Previous | |Next »
April 10, 2008

The Murray-Darling River system is dying from the mouth up. The southern lakes (Alexandrina and Albert) are drying up from lack of flow, and it is probably already too late to revive Lake Alexandrina at the mouth of the river.

There is now acidification on top of salinity, due to lack of flows. The oil in the lake is laced with sulphides that turn into sulphuric acid with prolonged contact with the air.The pH level of the lake, which measures the acid/alkaline balance, is already bad enough to make it toxic to animals.

MurrayMouth.jpg Gary Sauer-Thompson, Murray Mouth, 2006

Today, the danger is that without flushing as a result of heavy rains upstream, the combination of salt and acid will move upstream and progressively contaminate the lower Murray.

Kenneth Davidson in The Age says:

Murray Bridge, 38 kilometres from the mouth of the Murray, is only two metres above sea level at the mouth of the river — a drop of less than half a centimetre a kilometre — which means that the salt and acid can move relatively easily upstream. The lower Murray is more akin to a series of interconnected ponds rather than a free-flowing river.

It hasn't been a free flowing river for ages. Basin wide irrigation made sure of that. In all probability there will be a weir built at the top of Lake Alexandrina near Wellington and the lower lakes become seawater lakes.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:49 AM | | Comments (1)
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health warning from a mesage in a bottle