Updated: September 07, 2003
National water week demonstrations expose logging in Melbourne's water supply
Over the coming week Australians will be celebrating one of our most valuable resources, water. National Water Week encourages the community to find solutions and be aware of ways to manage our water resources today in order to ensure future generations are able to meet their needs. The Wilderness Society is conducting a series of demonstrations around Melbourne to educate the public that Melbourne's precious water catchments are logged for woodchips, reducing both water supply and water quality.
The Wilderness Society's Central Highlands Campaigner, Meagan Clinton said; "Melburnians will be horrified to know that their water supply is being destroyed by logging. Logging is presently taking place in five of Melbourne's water catchments which supply 28% of our drinking water, not 10% as stated by Melbourne Water".
Research commissioned by Melbourne Water over several years has conclusively shown that logged areas have a 50% reduced water yield, and that it takes 150 years for water levels to recover. Young eucalypt trees which regrow after logging are very thirsty when they're young, thus drinking the water which would otherwise be flowing into creeks, rivers and eventually dams."
Due to our ever dropping water supply and increasing demand, Melbourne Water has been required by the Environment Minister Sherryl Garbutt to undertake a Strategic Review of all our water resources. The goal of the review is provide solutions to ensure we have sufficient water for the next 20 years.
"Forty percent of submissions from environmental groups and the public have stated that they want an end to logging in their water supply catchments. We can only hope that public opinion is acknowledged".
"Logging threatens water supply and water quality. Australia presently has no Safe Water Act to ensure we are drinking water above World Health Organisation standards. Research results have shown that logging leads to a reduction in water quality, with logged areas and road inputting large quantities of sediment and pollution into river catchments"
"Melbourne Water say that logging only occurs in one of the four Yarra Tributaries Catchments per summer logging season, and catchments are closed during logging operations to prevent reductions in quality."
"But according to Department of Natural Resources and Environment, logging was scheduled in three of the four catchments last summer, while logging is scheduled in two catchments during this summer's logging season. Furthermore, when water supplies are at critically low levels we can hardly afford to take one catchment out of production let alone two".
"The public has spoken and the resounding view is "Protect our Water catchments to ensure we have sufficient adequate clean clear water in the future."
Contact: Megan Clinton from The Wilderness Society on 0419 539 731 or 96395455 Banner Drop: 7:30 Richmond Station 18th of October
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Victoria Inc
288 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, Vic, 3065
Phone: 03 9038 0888