Saturday, February 21, 2009

Every drop is precious

Recent logging industry claims that logging our catchments will improve water yields and protect them are false and opportunistic. Scientists have confirmed that logging in our water catchments, like bushfires, decreases the quality and quantity of water they produce.

The recent catastrophic bushfires travelled at alarming speed, up to 100km/h, across farmland and through plantations and heavily "managed" forests, including forests where recent fuel reduction burns had been done. Bushfire and climate scientists have confirmed that Victoria's hottest day every, combined with very strong north winds, created conditions for an unstoppable firestorm.

The bushfires slowed considerably when they eventually entered Melbourne's water catchments. Intact wet sclerophyll forests in our water catchments are less prone to burning, and temperatures and wind speeds have eased. Melbourne Water is doing a great job managing our protected catchments.

However, the Victorian government has been sitting on their hands holding continual reviews about the destruction of some of our catchments by logging; it is now time for action. Stage 4 water restrictions are looming in the near future, and every drop of water is precious. We are now facing less water in our dams and drastically reduced rainfall across the state.

Melbourne's water catchments, and those elsewhere across the Victoria, should be immediately protected from logging in the interests of all Victorians.

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