In response to the Brumby Government’s plan to take an extra 10 billion litres of water for Melbourne from the Thomson River, Environment Victoria’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said today:
“Environment Victoria was disappointed to hear today the Brumby Government is planning to further plunder the Thomson River by taking 10 billion litres of water from the already stressed river system.
“10 billion litres is only about 10 days worth of water for Melbourne, so it is a short term fix for a long term problem.
“This amount of water means the world to the Thomson River but the difference it makes to each Melbournian is one less toilet flush a day.
“Flows from the Thomson River are vital for sustaining the health of the Gippsland Lakes and associated wetlands, which are a haven for the declining waterbird populations and a tourism hotspot worth $320 million annually to the regional economy.
“You just have to take a look at the crisis in the Murray River system to see what happens when you ignore a river’s flow needs for too long.
“Instead of taking more water from our rivers, the government should be acting on other options like boosting water efficiency in our homes, utilising more recycled water and harvesting storm water.
“We know by harvesting stormwater, making better use recycled water and increasing the water efficiency of our homes and businesses, we could save billions of litres of water and take the pressure off our water-deprived rivers.”