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Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over....


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Hi John

 

Fascinating pictures and description of a part of the country I've never seen. Excellent! 

 

Much appreciated.

 

Alan

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Thanks for the great pics & description. Sad to remember the fish kills.  I have flown the Darling but as you said there was only pools. For anyone contemplating the river flight there is an extremely good bitumen strip easy walking distance to Lake Meningee.

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Great photos and information. I must say, I'm amazed the mice didn't munch on his aircraft overnight. I'd be pretty worried about rodent damage around NSW, at present.

 

I just freighted a PTO-driven, trailer-mounted, Lincoln Tractapac welder, that I bought at a rural auction, from Holbrook to Perth. I thought Holbrook was relatively unaffected by the rodent plague.

When I tried to turn the welder over by hand, it wouldn't turn very far, before it jammed. I reversed the drive pulleys travel, and it jammed up again, after only about a quarter-turn.

I pulled the covers off the drive pulleys, and found around 30 litres of rodent nests, rodent turds, and general trash, totally filling the area of the pulley covers, around the big pulley.

Even the V-belts had been chewed up. What amazes me, is this got through W.A. Border quarantine, without anyone picking it up.

 

 

Tractapac-trash3.jpg

Tractapac-trash2.jpg

Tractapac-trash4.jpg

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8 hours ago, John Robert said:

Thanks for the great pics & description. Sad to remember the fish kills.  I have flown the Darling but as you said there was only pools. For anyone contemplating the river flight there is an extremely good bitumen strip easy walking distance to Lake Meningee.

Don't worry too much; in the original FB photo were 1 million dead fish were claimed, I counted 95 fish. The story got traction and eventually the claim reached 3 million, but no one produced a photo anywhere along the Darling of more than a few hundred. About every decade the conditions are right somewhere along the thousands of km for a blue-green algae bloom and that kills all the fish in that stretch, but during the floods the fish are washed out overland and plenty live in the resulting billabongs until a flood washes them back into the Darling.

 

The locals stitched the City people up with a lot of good stories; Two aboriginal woment from Wilcannia got their photos in the newspapers carrying a couple of slabs each on their shoulders and said they'd had to drive all the way into Broken Hill to get water to wash in. On the same day the Murray Darling Basin Authority flow gauge at Wilcannia showed the Darling flowing at 1 million litres per day.

 

Others claimed the Menidee Lakes had been "run dry", but the MDBA electronic monitoring showed 16 Gigalitres of water sitting there.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Menindee lakes are overflow lakes, as is the Anabranch an overflow for the Darling. They naturally filled in flood times. A campaign began in the 19th century, later supported by Henry Lawson, to make them artificial reservoirs. This was done, with weirs and the Copi channel, so when I was growing up they were always full. I sailed on Lake Menindee and we camped alongside the lakes never thinking that they might empty. The decision to run them empty was based on concerns about the evaporation loss and salinity which affected downstream, including the Murray into South Australia. I am in favour of keeping them full whenever possible, but I don't understand the big picture. I suspect that irrigation elsewhere is a much, much bigger problem.

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53 minutes ago, pmccarthy said:

The Menindee lakes are overflow lakes, as is the Anabranch an overflow for the Darling. They naturally filled in flood times. A campaign began in the 19th century, later supported by Henry Lawson, to make them artificial reservoirs. This was done, with weirs and the Copi channel, so when I was growing up they were always full. I sailed on Lake Menindee and we camped alongside the lakes never thinking that they might empty. The decision to run them empty was based on concerns about the evaporation loss and salinity which affected downstream, including the Murray into South Australia. I am in favour of keeping them full whenever possible, but I don't understand the big picture. I suspect that irrigation elsewhere is a much, much bigger problem.

The Menindee Lakes had been supplying Broken Hill's water.  A couple of the Lakes (can't remember which names) were notorious for wasting water to evaporation because they were very shallow, albeit a huge area. Broken Hill has been expanding in recent decades, so to kill two birds with the one stone; 1. Secure reliable supply to Broken Hill and 2. stop the massive losses, a new pipeline has been built from Broken Hill to near the junction of the Darling and Murray, so Broken Hill can pull water from the Murray when the Darling runs dry. Theoretically, the two lakes causing the problem can now be shut down for a big gain in useable irrigation water.

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