Attending the 74th Annual Murray Darling Conference held in Leeton, elected member of the Rural City of Murray Bridge, SA, Clem Schubert was quite concerned about longterm water security.
“At the moment we seem to be very voluble about measuring water out or who is using it or not using it,” Cr Schubert said.
“I think we are way past that because the future of our river is being impacted by society and increasing human population.”
Cr Schubert said he had initiated a survey a couple of years ago about the upgrading of reservoirs to meet increasing suburban demand in SA.
“Adelaide’s last major water supply was constructed back in the mid-fifties and also the Snowy Mountains Scheme,” he said.
“But the population has doubled since either one of those schemes was completed.”
Cr Schubert said nothing has been done in the meantime to secure future water supply.
The Murray River he thought, is in some areas sadly a bit of a sewerage because it is carrying all the accumulation of debris down through SA to the mouth of the river.
“So we will always need a surplus or a reasonable amount of water to flush the river,” Cr Schubert said.
“In the meantime we need a far bigger guarantee of water, as we have been listening to today, because of the future development of productivity whether it is almonds, peaches, vegetables.
“But it is also the security, the surety for the people with their investments.”
Cr Schubert pointed out many thousands and millions of dollars have been invested in productive infrastructures ultimately relying upon the river system to deliver potable water.
“The surety and guarantee that jobs will be there and the towns must have an expected life span,” he said.
“So a decent supply of water is critical and we need more dams.”