Environmental groups and the Greens have blamed cotton farmers for the mass fish kill in the Darling River. Nearly a million fish, including some that were over 50 years old have died from de-oxygenated water resulting from a blue-green algae outbreak. The Greens are misinformed when they say cotton farmers are to blame for these events. The major cause of the fish kill is the drought and the convoluted mess that is water management policy in Australia.
The Greens have stated that cotton growers are sucking up the water for their crops. This is an untruth. The vast majority of cotton growers have received zero allocation of water this season and therefore have not planted any crops.
What the Greens have failed to mention is their push for more water to be returned to the environment, especially in South Australia. The water allocated from the Menindee Lakes is sent to South Australia to be flushed out to sea as opposed to being used in NSW. If this water was not diverted to be wasted in the sea, it could have stemmed the falling water levels and stagnant water which bred the blue-green algae leading to fish deaths.
A new approach to water management needs to be taken which has favourable outcomes for NSW to ensure that mass fish kills no longer occur.
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