Friday, January 15, 2010

Abundance


It's Day 3 and we are rolling by seemingly limitless vineyards and orchards. There are other crops too ... we saw corn, pumpkins and rice ... yes rice out here in this big dry sunny country ... the miracle of the irrigation scheme.

Here's some rice facts from the rice growers website.
1. Up to 40 million people eat Australian rice around the world each day. 2. Australian rice growers have improved their water use efficiency by 44% in the past 10 years. 3. Australian rice growers surpassed overseas average production of 3.97 tonnes per hectare 60 years ago. In 2006, the average rice yield was 10 tonnes per hectare and Australia is the only country to achieve this. 4. Overseas rice growers can use up to 5 times more water to grow a kilo of rice compared to our Australian rice growers.

So what is the right balance between water usage and this abundance? How much water should be left for the people downstream? What about the river and wetland health?

1 comment:

  1. Now back to this discussion.

    I don't know the arguments about this. But I will by the end of the weekend. Know more anyway.

    However, I do know that the information on the Rice Growers' site and the information on any environmental site is going to be overblown and that somewhere in the middle is a more comfortable position.

    Many of the crops that line your journey will have been grown by massive overseas conglomerates who receive large subsidies from the Australian Government. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not against overseas investment in Australia and I am not against the government paying welfare.

    What I am against is the inane use of resources. Especially scarce resources, like water. The lower Murray Darling is salting and silting because of poor water flow. And the water flow is poor from below the massive area given over to cotton in southern queensland.

    Yes, they food the populace but dont think they power the economy. The money is just laundered through.

    I will find out more. Shall discuss it with my baby girl who worked on a case about this at one stage.

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