Tag Archives: irrigation

some like it hot

Register for Some Like It Hot here. Find out more below…

 

How grape growers can survive in the short and long term will be the key focus of a day-long seminar at Renmark later this year.

Organisers of the annual Some Like It Hot seminar on November 6 have organised a star-studded list of guest speakers to give a health check on the future of the Riverland wine industry.

Climate change, international exports and the River Murray will come under the spotlight at the seminar, which will be held at Renmark’s Chaffey Theatre.

Wine industry environmental expert Amy Russell, SA’s leading water policy expert Professor Mike Young and Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation information manager Lawrie Stanford are among the guest speakers confirmed for the event.

Some Like It Hot is widely regarded as one of the country’s premium seminars focussed on warm climate irrigated wine regions.

“The timing of the event could not be better. By November we will have a much better idea of where we all stand in relation to water supply,” said Riverland Wine Industry Development Council executive officer Cameron Hills.

“In difficult times it is important for growers to make informed decisions and on that basis alone, no one can afford to miss out on the range of information that will be provided at this seminar.

“The high Australian dollar, drought and water restrictions mean this is a turbulent time for the local industry and it is imperative individuals are armed with high quality information.”

Discussions at the 2008 event will include an industry update, corporate perspective and what is sure to be a heated discussion on climate change.

“Networking is also a big part of this event, which has been lauded as one of the major wine industry events in the State,” Cameron said.

Registrations for the event will open on July 30 with early bid prices starting at just $35. Registrations can be made online here with credit card payment available for the first time.

a golf course with no grass

Golf clubs voluntarily ripping up their fairways, new housing developments without gardens, and water police patrolling the streets.

This is Las Vegas 2008 – see Matthew Price’s BBC drought diary here and read more about what other countries are doing to conserve water.

Meanwhile a South Australian Government official says the government has no plans to harvest stormwater. That revelation came on Wednesday afternoon – shortly afterwards a media report stated that the CSIRO’s chief water scientist, Dr Bill Young, had said there was enough water in New South Wales Menindee Lakes to release some to environmental flows. According to Dr Young this would have a “definately postive” impact on the dying lower lakes.

However, premier Mike Rann has stated he would be one day dubbed the most negligent premier in the state if he released storagres from Menindee Lakes for the environment. The water is needed for “critical human needs”.

I continue to wonder, during all these discussions, debates and pleas, if the mouth is left to die won’t the problems slowly travel up the river? A new pipeline has been recently approved to pump water from the River at Tailem Bend to Lower Lakes irrigators – will this pipeline have to continue to be moved up the river?

the lighter side

Just before going to sleep last night I was ranting to my husband about over allocation of rivers worldwide (I’m sure he brought it up). He quickly broke through my rant with the following exchange:

Me: ….and it’s only because the states aren’t using their full allocations that it’s not an environmental disaster……do you know what an acre-foot is?

Him: “Yeah, it’s when you drop a heavy brick on your foot and you say “ahhh my aching foot”.

Me: Dissolves into laughter

Him: “I thought you needed a gigglelitre”

PS. For those who care – one million acre-feet of water is equivilant to 1233.5 gigalitres

colorado river report

The BBC’s Matthew Price is currently travelling along the Colorado River and reporting on its health and the views of the people who live near it. The first two diary entries can be found here.

The river has been in drought for eight years and, as mentioned in the report I posted yesterday, is hopelessly overallocated. It is only because the states are not using their full allocations that the river is still running to Mexico, just.

Nevada’s attempts to save water are admirable – the Southern Nevada Water Authority seems to realise that people living in a desert just cannot enjoy a lush green lawn etc. They even pass on the message with a bit of humour. It begs the question – why hasn’t the South Australian Government imposed stricter domestic watering restrictions?

a worldwide problem

The Nile, the Colorado River, the Ganges and the Yellow River – some of the largest rivers in the world are also the most susceptible to mismanagement and over allocation.

 

Irrigation is a historical practice – the Chinese have been irrigating since the third century BC and ancient Roman aqueducts that dot the European landscape are still used today.

 

However, rapid population growth and the need for greater food stocks at a global level has seen some of the world’s largest and most important river systems depleted to shadows of their former selves.

 

Read the full report here.