Murray lakes

To: "Steve Potter" <>, ""
Subject: Murray lakes
From: "Peter Waanders" <>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2008 11:30:26 +1000
Hi Steve
You raise some good points.
The river was a series of pools during times of drought. Near where I live, at Waikerie, people were able to walk across to the other side. This was in the early decades of the previous century. SInce then a series of weirs have been constructed that hold water levels stable, for navigation and irrigation supplies. THis means floodwaters that traditionally made it to the Lower Lakes are kept behind. Dams and weirs further upstream capture more of these floodwaters. Coupled with over-extraction, and some low rainfall years more recently, there has just not been enough water flowing down to the Lower Lakes.
The Murray Mouth closed for the first time in recorded history in 1981 or 1982 and then again in the late 1990s and has been closed permanently since 2000 were it not for a $2M annual dredging program.
There may be a big cleanup flood - we're all hoping for that - but with 1.5 m of evaporation each year, the Lower Lakes will be dry before that happens.
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