Reflecting on the Riverina

Posted by barbara on June 16, 2011


Griffith. Part of the MIA (Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area).

So much water under the bridge surrounding the Riverina and the rivers that water it, including the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers, and the question of water allocations. So many people hot under the collar about proposed reforms that are designed to 'reset the clock' and introduce a sustainable into the future regime that will benefit all stakeholders, the once mighty river included.

Easy for those of us who live in the cities to pontificate, being so less so directly impacted re our individual livelihoods.

Spare a thought for those who find themselves required to accommodate a new regime for the good of the river, especially those who have relied on the Riverina rivers for a century plus.



A Griffith central waterway suggest an oasis in a desert, with an oasis being 'a small fertile or green area in a desert region, usually having a spring or well'. 

 Such is the extent of 'open to the sky' water canals that criss cross the Riverina that they physically impact the local climate. Griffith, for example, is prone to a persistent morning mist in the colder months that may or may not lift. Many put this down to the humidity generated by the plethora of man made waterways.

Not only do the kilometres of irrigation channels lose water through soil seepage but evaporation also takes its cut. The obvious answer however, lining and covering the canals to reduce water loss, is a massive undertaking, the costs of which must be daunting. How will this be achieved? Drain, concrete and cover the canals one by one, and at whose cost?

It is not until you drive through the artificially watered Riverina and well into Victoria that you appreciate the vast footprint of these 'food bowl' farming endeavours that are only made viable by ditches, large and small. Task about a real eye opener.


Submit a Comment


Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Please type the letters and numbers shown in the image.Captcha Code