Parched Australia buys water from farmers
The Australian government has bought seven billion litres of water from a vast cattle and sheep station in an effort to rejuvenate parched land in the drought prone Murray-Darling basin.
The watering is expected to help prevent permanent environmental damage including significant loss of mature River Red Gums and other flood-dependent vegetation and to provide a critical drought refuge for aquatic species.
The purchase is the latest in an ongoing strategy to put water back into the environment and brings the total volume procured by the authorities so far to almost 10 billion litres.
"This brings to 9.4 billion litres the total of water released to the environment so far as a result of the water buyback being conducted through the Australian Government's plan Water for the Future," said Senator Penny Wong, the federal government's Minister for Climate Change & Water.
"The additional water will be released at two sites in South Australia - Overland Corner Floodplain, near Kingston-on-Murray, and Markaranka Floodplain, near Waikerie."
The water is expected to protect biodiversity and throw a lifeline to threatened bird and amphibian species.