Lake Pinaroo fills for first time in 10 years as Far West NSW welcomes heavy rains. For the first time in 10 years, Lake Pinaroo in the far west of New South Wales is full after heavy rains drenched the desert region.
Key points: A researcher living close to Lake Pinaroo says he had almost 100 millimetres of rain on his propertyTibooburra recorded its wettest March day on record during last week's drenching of Far West NSWThousands of waterbirds have returned to the lake following the heavy rainfall The lake is located about 100 kilometres west of Tibooburra and about 30 kilometres from Cameron Corner — where New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland intersect. Wild Deserts project coordinator Reece Pedler, who lives near the lake at Fort Grey Homestead, said just under 100 millimetres of rain had been recorded there recently. He said after living at the site for about four years, he and his family did not think they would ever see the lake full. "The lake is totally inundated and probably over three metres in the middle. Elderly NSW flood veterans can help predict weather cycles, expert says. Ted Books admits his memory isn't what it used to be, after all, he's 86.
But there's one thing the Sydney man can recount without skipping a beat — floods. He remembers hauling people into rescue boats on the Hawkesbury River in the 1950s and 60s, when things got really bad. This week, several areas along the Hawkesbury were ordered to evacuate, with water levels reaching more than 12 metres at Windsor, flooding homes and cutting off roads and bridges. Mr Books knew it was history repeating itself — problem is, no one listens to him. Australia is likely about to enter a wetter climate cycle, and that's a problem for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. The region was the epicentre of Sydney's floods that sparked widespread evacuations and left one man dead last week.
The engineering and environmental geologist said people in the area with a lived-knowledge of the last wet cycle — which saw regular floods in the 1950s and 60s — were elderly, and often ignored. 'One-in-100-years' flood talk disastrously misleading and should change, risk experts say. What does it mean when a natural disaster is described as a "one-in-50-years" or "one-in-100-years" event?
Well, not what most people think and that has to change, according to a leading risk assessment expert. Key points: Satellite images of Hawkesbury River flooding show true extent of NSW devastation. Satellites orbiting the earth's exosphere have been able to capture the true extent of the past week's flood devastation in NSW.
The imagery shows fields and properties along the Hawkesbury River completely underwater. The entire NSW coast has been drowned by at least 200 millimetres, and in some places, more than 400mm of rain. To put that in context, Sydney averages 132mm of rain for the whole month of March. As the pictures show, much of Windsor and its surrounding areas have been swallowed by the swollen river and houses are now islands in an ocean of flood water. Although river levels are slowly falling from their peaks, flooding continues in Windsor and nearby North Richmond today. Stanthorpe locals rejoice as dam overflows after 15 months of carting water. Up to 50 trucks brought water into the town of Stanthorpe, on Queensland's Granite Belt, every day for 15 months.
Key points: Stanthorpe locals are rejoicing with the local dam reaching 100 per cent capacityWater has been trucked into the town each day for 15 months, which can now ceaseLocals now hope tourists will return to the region to help it recover It cost the state government more than $10 million, businesses struggled, locals lived on water restrictions as low 80 litres each day — every drop was counted. But their nightmare is finally over, with Storm King Dam reaching 100 per cent capacity after 140 millimetres of rain was received in the catchment in a 24-hour period.
Chamber of Commerce Stanthorpe and Granite Belt President Graham Parker was enjoying the reprieve. Scientists warn of 'irreversible' damage to endangered swamps near Sydney if longwall mining continues. Coal mining under Sydney's drinking water catchment is drying up endangered swamps and scientists say the damage is irreversible.
Key points: A researcher says coastal upland swamps of the Sydney basin bioregion are endangeredThe research shows swamps above longwall mine paths dry more quickly after rainfall than swamps without any mining disturbanceThe researchers say the results provides further evidence in support of the rejection of South32's Dendrobium mine expansion A University of New South Wales research team compared the soil moisture after rainfall events in wetlands above underground longwall coal mining to that of unmined swamps. The work was focused in Dharawal National Park, south of Sydney, and further south in the Metropolitan Catchment area close to Avon Dam. Lead author Tanya Mason said the coastal upland swamps of the Sydney basin bioregion were endangered.
Lasting effects. Warragamba Dam overflows for first time in years amid NSW 'extreme weather event' Sydney's main water source, Warragamba Dam, has spilled over for the first time since 2016, as rivers in Australia's largest city swell amid a downpour.
Water began cascading over the dam wall about 4.00pm Saturday, not long after authorities warned much of Greater Sydney to brace for flooding. NSW's coastline has been pummelled by a days-long rain event that the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has warned will continue into next week. Sydney Water fined close to $200,000 for release of raw sewage into Parramatta River. Sydney Water will have to pay almost $200,000 after being fined for the release of nearly 3 million litres of raw sewage into the Parramatta River in 2018.
Sewage overflowed into Toongabbie Creek and Parramatta River after a wall inside Northmead pumping station collapsedSydney Water was criticised for its record of environmental offencesThe court heard it was likely to reoffend The agency pleaded guilty to two counts of water pollution in the Land and Environment Court.
It was fined $175,500 for those two offences and will also have to pay the Environment Protection Agency’s legal costs of around $22,000. In October 2018, a wall inside the Northmead pumping station collapsed which flooded pumps and stopped them from working. This caused sewage to overflow into Toongabbie Creek and Parramatta River, running hundreds of metres downstream. The court judgement said around 300 fish had died as a result of the spill. Behind New Zealand's clean, green image is a dirty truth. No-one is 'hoarding' water in the southern Murray-Darling Basin, new study finds.
There is no evidence of water hoarding in southern Murray-Darling Basin water markets, according to a new paper in the Australian Journal of Agriculture and Resources Economics.
Key points: Withholding water from the market can, in theory, affect the priceThe researchers say they could find no evidence that anyone was "hoarding" waterWater market data is collected by the Bureau of Meteorology and individual registers in each Basin state. During the recent drought, many irrigators along the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers accused corporate investors in the water market of holding back water as prices rose, to sell or lease it to them at higher prices.
At the time, prices for temporary irrigation water were climbing to levels not seen since the previous Millennium Drought, pricing many irrigators out of the market. Dormant gas exploration licences emerge as next frontier in New South Wales gas battle. About a decade ago, a coal seam gas company went door knocking in the New South Wales Upper Hunter.
Key points: The approval of the Narrabri Gas project has energised gas companiesTwelve dormant gas licenses cover 55,000 square kilometres in north-west NSW, and have renewal applications pendingThe state government's Future of Gas statement is expected in the coming months What happened next would drive a wedge through Anne Bishop's family. A close relative signed a contract with the gas company to allow exploratory drilling on their farm near Bunnan. Ms Bishop, who lives on a neighbouring block, vehemently opposed gas. Darling River ecology 'extinct' and Murray cod 'in real trouble', warns expert Dr Stuart Rowland.
The Darling River's aquatic ecology is so degraded it has become extinct and iconic fish species including the Murray cod face an uncertain future, according to one of Australia's most respected fish scientists. Key points: Dr Rowland says prolonged drought and irrigation have created an ecological disaster in the Darling RiverHe says a 2003 report declaring the Darling endangered was met with a tenfold increase in water extractionThe NSW Government says it has restocked the Darling with 60,000 Murray cod fingerlings Dr Stuart Rowland worked for the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries for 33 years until 2011.
He is credited with describing the biology of the Murray cod and developed hatchery techniques for a number of native fish species. He has written a book called The Codfather about his life's work and the challenges facing the Murray cod. Pembroke's Olive Downs coal mine approved despite department's concerns about waterways. A massive coal mine that was a key platform in Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's election campaign gained approvals despite the environmental regulator raising serious concerns behind the scenes about lasting impacts on surrounding waterways, ABC Investigations can reveal. Key points: Queensland's Environment Department detailed concerns about the voids that will be left on the floodplain after the mine has closedThe state's coordinator-general recommended environmental approval for the mine despite the concernsThe mining company was a client of Labor powerbroker Cameron Milner's lobbying firm Pembroke Resources has received approval for a coking coal mine south-west of Moranbah in central Queensland that will straddle the Isaac River and impact on almost 4,000 hectares of floodplain.
The Olive Downs mine will be the third largest in the state, producing up to 15 million tonnes a year and employing 1,500 people. Scientists studying krill want to know how the tiny crustaceans are affected by climate change and fishing. They are known as the building blocks of the ocean and great swarms of them can even be seen from space. Key points: Krill are regarded as one of the "keystone species" of the Southern OceanThe krill fishing industry is growingA research project will look at how the pressures of fishing and climate change affect krill But not only are these tiny krill the favourite snack of whales, there is a growing fishing industry catching them for aquaculture feed and high value krill oil.
Right now a team of scientists is working around the clock to figure out how many are in Antarctic waters near Australia's Mawson and Davis stations. Calls to cut south-east Queensland water use as Wivenhoe Dam hits its lowest level in a decade. South-east Queensland's largest dam has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade, prompting a call for residents to reduce their water consumption. Key points: The last time Wivenhoe Dam was this low was after the Millennium Drought in 2009Dams that supply south-east Queensland's drinking water are around half full If they remain low, water restrictions could be considered later this year On Tuesday, Wivenhoe Dam, west of Brisbane, was at 36.2 per cent capacity, the lowest level since 2009, according to Mike Foster, from water authority Seqwater.
"That's the result of a couple of back-to-back effectively failed wet seasons where we saw some good rainfall in our coastal dams, but Somerset, Wivenhoe and North Pine Dam — our big central dams — unfortunately that rainfall has missed those storages," Mr Foster said. He said inflows to Wivenhoe Dam were critical to keep drinking water flowing to the state's most populous region. Water grid put to the test. Murray Darling Basin Plan's on-farm Water Efficiency Program axed by government. No more water will be taken from farms to be returned to the environment under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan following a policy shift announced today by the federal government. Key points: The government cancels a program that funds farmers to save water for the Murray-Darling Basin The Water Minister says there is $1.3 billion in government funds to save water from off-farm projects instead An SA senator says water for the basin plan should come from willing irrigators "We think we can do better with off-farm efficiencies," Water Minister Keith Pitt said.
Speaking from a dairy farm in Victoria, Mr Pitt told the ABC he had axed the Water Efficiency Program (WEP), which provided irrigators in the basin with funds to upgrade and improve water infrastructure on farms. WA authorities investigate East Kimberley mine over iron ore spill into local waterways. Residents in the East Kimberley community of Doon Doon have raised the alarm after a popular creek for swimming and fishing turned red from an iron ore spill. Fortune Agribusiness bid for NT water licence challenged by native title holders. Native title holders in the Barkly region have said they will formally challenge the Northern Territory's biggest ever water licence if it is granted. Bizarre 'blue fleet' blows onto Australia's east coast. Salmon giant Tassal silent on mass death of fish near Port Arthur. Tasmanian aquaculture giant Tassal has reported a sizeable salmon mortality event affecting its Long Bay lease near Port Arthur in the state's south but is refusing to detail the scale or cause of the deaths.
Productivity Commission finds Australia's water policy not up to challenge of climate change, population growth. Australia's overarching water policy is outdated and will struggle to meet population and climate challenges without a major overhaul, according to the Productivity Commission. Key points: Ecologists buy 1,000-acre blue gum plantation and transform it into wetland it once was. It was 2016, Mark Bachmann was stumped. He and his team of scientists were three years into transforming a huge tract of agricultural land into the wetland it once was, but had no idea how their small, regional, not-for-profit could negotiate the final step: to buy 1,000 acres of commercial blue gum plantation.
Murray River research finds centuries-old 'sand slug' in Barmah Choke. The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) says a "sand slug" accumulating in the Murray River is the result of historic mining practices rather than poor water management. Key points: The Murray Darling Basin Authority says more than three million tonnes of sand has settled in the Barmah ChokeA recent report suggests historic mining practices upstream were responsibleLandholders have long claimed the choke's capacity issues are caused by bank erosion A report commissioned by the MDBA estimates more than three million tonnes of sand has settled in the Barmah Choke, the river's narrowest stretch, which is located in southern NSW, reducing its capacity by 20 per cent over the past 40 years.
New wastewater rules could force thousands of Australian homes to install bigger, more costly sewage treatment. Australian households that need secondary wastewater treatment systems may have to pay $1,000 more per year in running costs due to new regulations setting a minimum water treatment capacity. Nine US officials including Michigan ex-governor charged over Flint water crisis deaths. Nine US officials — including former Michigan governor Rick Snyder and key members of his administration — have been charged following a new investigation into the Flint water disaster that contaminated the US city with lead and left 12 people dead. Coronavirus lockdown coincides with rise in fatbergs in sewers.
During the months Western Australia was forced into lockdown by the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a noticeable spike in drain blockages, including more massive "fatbergs" which cost authorities $3.3 million to clear. In 2021 swimming in a backyard pool or open ocean is good for you and beach ecology too. Where is Australia's best swimming waterhole? - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Inland New South Wales rivers may never recover from the last drought, expert warns. Predicting river levels used to be guesswork, but a new tool now gives seven-day forecasts. Murray-Darling Basin Plan review highlights progress in water recovery but lays out tough road ahead - ABC News. The secret suburban stormwater drains being turned into vibrant public wetlands - ABC News.
Wollongong Coal gets approval to expand Russell Vale coal mine above Sydney's water catchment - ABC News. It might be the world's biggest ocean, but the mighty Pacific is in peril - ABC News. Googong's water recycling plant fully operational amid calls for Canberra to develop more sustainable options - ABC News. Sydney Harbour underwater garden to mimic marine habitats destroyed by pollution - ABC News. Water from Murray-Darling Basin plan not being delivered to wetlands, Australian-first report finds - ABC News. Humpback whales have been spotted in a Kakadu river. So in a fight with a crocodile, who would win? - ABC News. Water resilience: Is a backyard bore a sustainable way to safeguard against drought? - ABC News. The 'loss and devastation' of a relentless drought captured from space.
'Detached' reef bigger than Empire State building discovered in 500 metres of water off Queensland - ABC News. Nick Xenophon backs away from Murray-Darling water demands, paving way for ABCC vote - ABC News. Thousands of waterbirds return to Lake Cowal wetlands after drought breaks - ABC News. The mystery of the Murray-Darling's vanishing flows.
Earth's water came from space, but not in the way we thought - ABC News. Santos coal-seam gas project at Narrabri not worth the risk, scientist says - ABC News. Darling River in NSW dropping rapidly, sparking fears of a tough summer - ABC News. Hobart rain refills 'disappearing' mountain tarn atop kunanyi/Mount Wellington - ABC News. Murray River's Lower Lakes review finds Ramsar-listed area is a freshwater ecosystem - ABC News. Remote community trials technology that makes water 'out of thin air' - ABC News. Yoda the green sea turtle released, months after washing up on remote Queensland beach. Everyone is buying rice during the coronavirus crisis, but Australia's biggest rice company is struggling. NSW irrigators Peter and Jane Harris guilty of breaching water-take regulations - ABC Rural - ABC News.
Murray-Darling Basin socio-economic review finds growing sense of hopelessness - ABC Rural - ABC News. Cotton's poor public image troubles industry as concerns over water grow - ABC Rural - ABC News. 'No-one is providing transparency': Audit questions compliance in Qld CSG regulation. How banking water underground in aquifers could help guard Australia against future drought. Ex-Tropical cyclone Esther transforms cattle country during loop of the Kimberley - ABC Rural - ABC News.
Big businesses set to commit to combating plastics at first national waste summit. Murray-Darling Basin Plan 'in action' after first major break in drought since deal was struck in 2012 - ABC Rural - ABC News. How do you run cattle and sheep in a swamp? This farm has done it for five generations. Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud on toilets, drinking games and selfies. PSP Investments, a Canadian pension fund, could now be the largest owner of water in the Murray-Darling Basin - ABC Rural - ABC News.
Queensland dam failure fears spark evacuation at Talgai. What has the rain done to drought-affected towns running out of water? Cheap gas, really? Why gas — from coal seams or ships — may not mean low power prices. Wombat water hole proving popular in drought-ravaged Hunter Valley. Murray-Darling Basin war of words over northern irrigators extracting water from potential river flows. Paradise Dam amendments rushed through Queensland Parliament sparking outrage. NSW landholders charged by Natural Resources Access Regulator over alleged water theft - ABC Rural - ABC News. Delhi is facing a water crisis. Ahead of day zero, the city's residents have turned to the mafia and murder.
Latrobe River earmarked as water source in plan to turn coal mines into lakes. New Acland Coal pursues Oakey Coal Action Alliance for legal costs ahead of possible High Court appeal. On World Wetlands Day, learn more about 'the kidneys' of the environment. Earthquake in Caribbean triggers tsunami warning for Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Do fans make any difference in a heatwave? Rain forces Mount Isa to cancel Australia Day pool party, but the dry river is now flowing. How long until drought-stricken towns run out of water? Darwin River Dam at lowest level since 2006, but NT Government quiet on action.
Inside the room as the Murray-Darling's top cop Mick Keelty meets irrigators. Murray-Darling Basin's top cop offers a damning assessment of the federal Agriculture Department - Politics. Millions of dead fish, dry rivers and lakes — so why have Menindee locals decided to stay? Wet-season storms drop 'best rain in years' across Territory cattle country - ABC Rural - ABC News. Residual bushfire ash blackens city slicker feet but water catchments so far remain clean. China's Mekong River dams are generating renewable energy, but are costing locals their livelihoods. Company approved to take 96 million litres of water from drought-ravaged Queensland town. Chris made his home stormwater smart and saved money in the process. He says you can too. Stanthorpe's water officially runs out, trucks bring supplies from dam near Warwick.
When NT rainfall records shattered across the Top End, one local community lapped it up. Darwin residents fear for future water security as underground aquifers run critically low. Saltmarshes vital to keep coastal ecosystems healthy and blue carbon storage in place. Trains deliver water to drought-affected NSW coal mines to keep production going and save jobs. ACCC to study Murray-Darling Basin's $2 billion water market to see who owns what - Politics. Murray-Darling Basin Plan 'untenable' says NSW, as Inspector-General says more corruption wouldn't surprise - Politics. Western Sydney swimming spots have hazardous levels of contamination, study finds.
Murray-Darling Basin inspector-general to oversee water efficiency, compliance and allegations of theft - Politics. Great Barrier Reef sediment from small area causing significant harm, but debate rages on best long-term fix - ABC Rural - ABC News. South32 warns Port Kembla steelworks at risk without coal mine expansion under Sydney catchment. Floods across subcontinent displace millions in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Grape company's gripe with NT Government over water allocation - ABC Rural - ABC News.