Environment Victoria today criticised calls for new and expanded dams and off-stream storages in Victoria, saying most of the proposals would harm the environment, and won’t prevent future floods.
“There are already thirty major dams in the Murray-Darling Basin, but as recent events have shown, dams don’t prevent flooding during extreme rainfall events,” said Healthy Rivers Campaigner, Amelia Young.
“We’ve already caused huge damage to our river systems by having too many dams, and extracting too much water. New or expanded storages will just compound the problem.
“The challenge is not to dam every drop of rain that falls, but to live within our means – to farm sustainabily within our increasingly variable climate.”
“We don’t need more water storages; we need to better manage our precious water resources,” continued Ms Young.
“The solution lies in water savings. In cities and towns, we can save water through stormwater capture and recycling.
“In rural areas, we need to reduce the amount of water used for irrigation and make our irrigation systems more efficient.
“Before the election the National Party promised not to build a dam on the wild-flowing Mitchell River in Gippsland.
“They should also rule out a dam on its tributary, the Wentworth River, or an off-stream storage in the Lindenow Valley, which would be almost as damaging to this heritage river system.
However, Environment Victoria has welcomed the investigation into a possible off-stream storage on the Ovens River near Bright.
“Unlike the rest of the proposals, this could have some environmental benefits if it was managed properly,” said Ms Young.
For interview contact:
Amelia Young, Healthy Rivers Campaigner on 0457 413 986
Louise Matthiesson on 0417 017 844