10 February, 2015

Damming the Belubula River is environmentally and financially reckless

The environment movement remains opposed to the National Party’s plans to dam the Belubula River in the Central West, even though the preferred dam site has shifted from Needles Gap to the Cranky Dam site.

“Governments stopped building dams 30 years ago for a very good reason,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

“Dams degrade river systems, cause a host of environmental problems, and fail to provide water security for local communities.

“The millions of dollars it would cost to develop this new, environmentally damaging dam would be far better spent on improving water efficiency in towns and on farms.

“The Belubula flows into the Lachlan River, a major system in the Murray Darling Basin, which has significant wetlands in the lower catchment.

“Putting another dam on the Belubula will add more stress to an already degraded system, with cascading impacts on the environment and landholders downstream.

“This proposal is not only environmentally reckless, it makes no sense economically. 

“If it is built, the NSW Government will have spent millions on a dam to take water out of Murray-Darling Basin while the Federal Government is spending billions putting it back in.”

Ms Smolski noted the preliminary report into potential dam sites had downgraded the Needles Gap dam option, which if developed would inundate the beautiful Cliefden Caves.

“While we are pleased the destruction of these unique caves is now less likely, we will continue to oppose the construction of any new dams being anywhere in the Lachlan River catchment,” she said.


Rivers and wetlands

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