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  • Mis-information vs. Evidence - Lakes Need Water
    early on page 9 with the fourth dated extract of 204 such extracts viz Captain Charles Sturt s observation in 1838 of a strong current always setting out of the channel which would appear to support the freshwater thesis In fact Sturt made this observation when comparing conditions at the mouth with those on his first visit in 1830 during his epic journey down the Murray and back when the shallow mudflats made it impossible to take his whaleboat to the mouth This reality is elaborated with more detail of the differences between Sturt s two visits on page 17 of A Fresh History with an unsubstantiated conclusion by the authors that Sturt believed the 1838 conditions were normal but those evident in 1830 were not The historical evidence could as well be used to show that flows were highly variable and support the thesis that low flows were not uncommon In his 1929 book Founders and Pioneers of South Australia 1978 Impresssion Page 34 A Grenfell Price describes the circumstances as follows During a subsequent examination of the mouth in 1838 Sturt found the channel from Goolwa to the outlet deep and clear If this had been the case in 1830 a season of drought in which the river was extremely low the first Murray voyage would have ended in disaster Had we wrote Sturt on our former journey found a channel such as now exists elated with success and ignorant of the dangers before us we should most assuredly have rushed to inevitable destruction in the surf at the mouth What this confirms is that even before extraction of water upstream river flows were highly variable with deep channels and strong flows replacing the shallow mudflats evident just a few years earlier Sim s and Muller s choice to interpret the high flow conditions of 1838 as the normal situation and to imply that Sturt s published comments support their thesis is itself evidence of the biased approach brought to the compilation of this document and interpretation of its data Even here the evidence does not support the view that the lakes were always fresh before settlement quite the contrary What the A Fresh History document does indicate is that the extraction of significant amounts of water for upstream irrigation projects was a source of contention in South Australia from very early in the Colony s history Much of the collected data relates to this concern but has no relevance to the actual state of the river before settlement There is little doubt that at times of average or stronger flows the lakes would have been predominantly fresh often for extended periods but in times of low flow without the moderating influence of upstream storage off season flows would have been too low to keep seawater out of the lakes and in times of extended drought significant sea water intrusion would have been inevitable The Sim Muller document provides no evidence to refute this To be quite clear

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/letters/eis-submission-t-harden/mis-information-vs-evidence (2016-02-09)
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  • Nature of our Environment - Lakes Need Water
    Lower Lakes levels have been kept artificially high by the barrages as can be plainly seen by the fences that go out into the area of the old Lake The true original natural state of the River and Lakes was one of constant flux sometimes of huge floods and other times of drought leading to the River being a series of pools which is what it would be like now if the locks hadn t been put in During the drought times the sea would have made significant incursions into the Lakes as happens in an estuarine situation We don t really know how long some of these drought situations may have lasted perhaps decades or even centuries We also don t know how far the seawater may have coursed up the River quite possibly much further than has previously been acknowledged in indigenous memory Another aspect of the debate that needs attention is just what is natural We all have our pet theories about what it is depending on our particular priorities For instance acid sulphate soils are natural They arise from the exposure to air of soils which have previously been covered with water a natural occurrence in

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/debate/naturechanges (2016-02-09)
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  • Against - Lakes Need Water
    of indigenous peoples I t is unnatural for the Lakes to become predominantly seawater leading to the loss of much flora and fauna which is adapte d to the freshwater environment Australia is a signatory to the Ramsar wetland treaty to preserve the Lakes wetlands B ioremed iation is advocated through liming and planting of the exposed soils M ore water should be released from upstream to maintain the Lakes

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/debate/against (2016-02-09)
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  • For - Lakes Need Water
    up by the only water available in large enough quantities seawater The Lakes were originally a tidal estuary where the lower parts nearer the sea would have been subject to daily inundation of seawater at high tide T he drought may continue for s ome years perhaps even for a very long time if we are entering a climatically dry period w hich could be exacerbated by global war ming Even if more water could be released from upstream under the present situation of State control it is unlikely tha t water in sufficient quantities will be released in time to prevent a serious s ituation fro m developing Precipitation upstream will be used to replenish the extremely low storages before it will be released to the lower reaches In a worst case sce nario t his may lead to Lake Alexandrina developing into a series of isolated salty acidified pools with no water in Lake Albert leading to toxic dust being blown inland with concomitant health problems The modifying effect of the original large bod y of water on the climate of the surrounding lands would disappear The building of weirs to protect fresh waters of the River Murray

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/debate/for (2016-02-09)
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  • Past History of the Lakes - Lakes Need Water
    was laid down There is also evidence from paleoecology that the Lakes were at least partly salty in th e 6000 years prior to the barrages http www theaustralian news com au story 0 25197 24877670 5013169 00 html This is from the work of respected environmental sc ientist Peter Gell who believes that to allow s ea water to enter the lakes c ould be a short term reversible

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/debate/past-history-of-the-lakes (2016-02-09)
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  • Reliance on indigenous knowledge - Lakes Need Water
    to acknowledge that it originates from verbal messages handed down from generation to generation There are no written records to verify any of this knowledge It is highly coloured by mythology and dreamtime stories which are worthwhile in themselves but cannot necessarily be relied upon in detail as an unbiased scientific account similar to the Genesis story As well there is evidence that aboriginal peoples have been on this continent

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/debate/1-reliance-on-indigenous-knowledge (2016-02-09)
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  • Releasing more water from upstream - Lakes Need Water
    is certainly true that i ndividual states particularly Queensland appear to have taken more than their fair share of the total water available but the process of working out just who actually owns the water resources of Australia and how they should be fairly distributed has not even started Once these principles have been worked out there is then the legislative process to institute them particularly the transfer of control from states to the federal government Even with the recent agreement of the government to bring forward license buy backs were all the water to be allocated to the Lakes may be insufficient to restore the Lakes by the amount necessary to keep them viable as fresh wa ter bodies Many issues need to be worked out such as whether certain crops should be grown in Australia All this is agonisingly slow and it is doubtful that the degradation of the Lakes will wait until a fair system is instituted and implemented The wate r storages upstream are at record lows and any precipitation in the next few years will be prioritised to those storages If the drought continues there will almost certainly not be adequate fresh water available to

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/debate/releasing-more-water-from-upstream (2016-02-09)
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  • The problem of evaporation from the surface of the Lakes - Lakes Need Water
    Maps About Us Links Act Now The Debate The problem of evaporation from the surface of the Lakes It has been said that m ore evaporates from the Lakes annually than the whole of the Murray River volume At a time of water scarcity this loss of fresh water has to be considered seriously If this huge amount of water could be saved by allowing seawater into the La kes

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/debate/the-problem-of-evaporation-from-the-surface-of-the-lakes (2016-02-09)
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