Saturday, January 23, 2010

Out to the outback


We're hitting the dirt today going north of Mildura to Mungo National Park.

Mildura is the centre of another huge irrigation area. Even more vineyards and orchards than around Griffith. The blub says "The district supplies 80% of Australia's dried fruit, 15% of its citrus fruit, 85 per cent of the state's [Victoria's] winemaking grapes and it possesses the second and third largest packing companies in the world."

And the good news is the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline water-saving project nearing completion. The $688 million project has been building almost 9,000 kilometres of reticulated pipeline to replace 17,800 kilometres of inefficient open channels, saving around 100 billion litres of water a year.

Beyond the irrigation zone the land is pretty desolate again, but it's actually quite green in a strange arid-country way.

7 comments:

  1. The first photo to me is Australia par excellence (me, spoilt by Flying Doctors and Skippy) ;-)

    I also like the second one with the contradiction of the shrivelled branches in the foreground and the green bushes in the background.

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  2. I love your blog. The pictures are great. When my husband retires I would love to visit Australia. Doylene

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  3. Pictures like these make me uncomfortable because I have freckles and (used to) have auburn hair and I'm light sensitive: hat, sunglasses, sunblock, water, shade, these are all the things I crave when I think of high temps. I'm happy to be watching from here.

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  4. And it all looks fascinating since I do like to camp and this part of Australia looks like it's less trampeled, more bucolic.

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  5. Martina, there is an awful lot of Australia that looks like this but not many of us live anywhere near it ... it's only been 1000kms to get there.

    Doylene .. I hope you do get the chance to visit Australia. I have enjoyed several wonderful visits to your country.

    Paula, it's too hot for me too and not enough shade. Great to visit but not to stay for long.

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  6. How does 9 thousand kms of pipeline replace 17 thousand kms of open ditches? The saving in water looks good. Is this a state/federal joint project? I have never read a jot about it!!!

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  7. Julie, as I understand it pipelines deliver water more efficiently ... they can connect their irrigation systems into the pipes whereas the ditches had to run along the properties for them to syphon off the water.

    As for the water saving project, it's a Victorian government initiative. As Letty commented on an earlier post it is big news in Victora. As I understand it federal funding is available as part of the Murray-Darling fixup scheme but such a project also costs the state considerable money and effort. So why nothing similar in NSW? I guess the simple answer is that the NSW government is a basket case on everything, not just water.

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