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Gwydir Valley irrigators put the heat on cold water pollution

Ahead of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s determination on its Northern Basin Review, irrigators in the Gwydir Valley have today released the trailer for the upcoming ‘Cold Fish’ film due to be released next week.

‘Cold Fish’ was commissioned by the Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association to highlight the negative impact that cold water pollution has on our river system and others across the Murray-Darling Basin.

Cold water pollution is when cold water is released from the bottom of a dam into river systems downstream. This has a devastating impact on the lifecycle of native fish with nearly 100% of Murray cod eggs unable to survive. Click here to read more about cold water pollution

Fourth generation Gwydir Valley farmer and third generation irrigator Willie Kirkby who is one of the stars of the film (aka Willie Cruise) says the water removed from the Valley and many other regions has done little to help the environment.” Instead, Willie says, buybacks have had “huge impacts on the communities”.

GVIA has continued its call, alongside the National Farmers’ Federation, Cotton Australia and other peak industry bodies, for the Government to abandon the ‘just add water’ approach already in place in the Northern Basin.

A healthy river system is about more than flow and a range of complementary measures, including mitigating cold water pollution through thermal curtain devices installed at dam outlets, can maximise environmental returns from the water already held.

We know these measures work. Installing a thermal curtain on Copeton Dam, like the one already in place on Burrendong Dam (upstream of Wellington). It is a no-brainer for improving environmental outcomes.

We will not be able to improve our native fish numbers, no matter how many megalitres of water we recover if we do not address issues like cold water pollution.

Click here to view the trailer

Post by Zara Lowien, GVIA Executive Officer (Moree)

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