Facts and Figures

As of May 2015 1956 GL had been returned to the environment from productive use through the Basin Plan.

1956 GL could produce

32.6 million tonnes of tomatoes.

Which is worth $3 billion to the farm gate

1.9 million tonnes of rice

Based on the farm price for medium grain rice in 2015 this equates to $759 million

2.3 billion litres of milk

At an average of 53c per litre at the farm gate that is $1.2 billion​

Tomatoes

We need them everyday, sandwiches, tomato sauce, our favourite pastas.

“A well managed tomato crop in northern Victoria or southern NSW requires about 6 mega litres (ML) of irrigation water per hectare (Ha), produces about 100Mt of tomatoes per Ha, with a farm-gate value of A$100/Mt. This is world’s best practice.”  

(Source competitionpolicyreview.gov.au/files/2014/06/Kagome.pdf)

If the 1956.2 GL of water which has been removed from productive use for environmental flows, was still in production it could produce – 32,60,333 tons of tomatoes, which is $3,260,333,333. These tomatoes could be used to make 14,671,500 tins of Rosella condensed Tomato Soup. And if the tins were lined up next to each other they would form a line 1085km long or from Melbourne to Newcastle.

Rice

It is a staple food source, especially for developing countries.  Australia is able to produce enough rice to feed 20 million people a day. According to 2011 estimates from the Dept. Agriculture and water rice on average uses 12 ML to produce 11.5T to the hectare. So what does that mean?

If the 1956.2 GL of water which has been removed from productive use for environmental flows, was still in production it could produce –

1,874,691 tons of rice, which is 12,185,491,500 servings of rice at 100g per serve.   Based on the farm price for medium grain rice in 2015 this equals $759,249,855, before value adding.  This money does not go into the hands of farmers, local communities, tax, GDP and the Australian economy.  It means less money going towards education and schools, hospitals and health, roads and transport.

Taxpayers, you are funding the removal of water from productive use.  Yes we want healthy rivers, but what if enough has been recovered already to meet the needs of the environment? And what if there is a way that both irrigation and the environment can both thrive? Pause now and make sure we get this right.

Wheat

Irrigation of wheat can increase yields by 1.5 t/ha, these are conservative figures based on research from NSW Dept. Primary Industries. So access to water for finishing wheat crops that have had good rainfall is critical to wheat growers as it allows them to maximise the potential from their inputs. According to Grain Growers one tonne of wheat can produce 1690 loaves of bread.

Based on this the 1956.2 GL which have been recovered from productive use for environmental flows could grow an extra 2934300T of wheat.  This equates to 4,958,967,000 loaves of bread.

Currently wheat prices are around $290/T this equates to $850,947,000 which is not going into the local and national economy. The flow on effect is there is less money for taxes, so less for hospitals, education and other infrastructure that draws on tax funds.

All we ask is that the plan be Paused so that we can assess if removing any more productive water is necessary, what if the outcomes for the environment can be met with the water they already have? What if regional communities and our food bowl are destroyed if a better way is not found.

Milk

We love it, especially in that much needed latte. According to the Save Water website on average 1 ML of water produces 1200L of milk.

So 1 ML of water produces 4800 lattes.

If the 1956.2 GL of water which has been removed from productive use for environmental flows, was still in production it could produce – 2,347,440,000 L of milk, which is 9,389,760,000 lattes. If these lattes were lined up next to each other they would form a line 657283.2km long, or around the world 16.4 times.

And at an average of 53c per litre at the farm gate that is $1,244,143,200 less going into the economy. This means less revenue for the government from taxes and less that they have to spend on infrastructure, education and health.

Taxpayers, do you want more productive water taken way from those who can add value to it and create wealth for all?

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