For many decades, too much water has been taken out of the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin – much of it for big corporate irrigation projects – for the rivers to remain healthy. At times when the lower Darling River has run dry, investigations have shown irrigators upriver had been stealing and stockpiling water for huge cotton farms. This has a real and devastating impact on Aboriginal country and communities.
Our friends at MLDRIN – the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations – describe the misuse of water as “a kick in the guts for our rivers, undermining the chances of restoring vital habitat for threatened native fish, water birds and majestic red gum forests”. It jeopardises the wellbeing and cultural identify of Traditional Owners who have lived beside and cared for the Barka (Darling River) for millennia.
Environmental Justice Australia works with Aboriginal communities in the southern Murray-Darling Basin through MLRDIN to achieve justice in the management of water resources. EJA’s assistance includes advice and the development of advocacy tools.