The Murray-Darling Basin Catastrophe

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Featured Image: WC Piguenit Flood in the Darling 1890, Oil on Canvas, 1895, 123 x 199 cm

ORT_Logo  Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 1 November 2019


The Murray-Darling Basin Catastrophe

Don’t sugarcoat it like that, Kid. Tell her straight. (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, 1969)

It is long past time for sugarcoating. We should be sick of the obfuscation and lies of politicians, policy makers, agribusiness and other vested interests in the Murray-Darling Basin and of the dodging of responsibility by those with the power to act. It is time to act decently in the interests of the whole community. It is time to tell it straight.

This is not a large dams issue in particular but it should be linked to my three large dams articles Large Dams 1: An Introduction, Large Dams 2: Aswan High Dam, Large Dams 3: Oustees India, and is the reason for my claim to expertise in this area. There are several large dams and many smaller ones involved in the Murray-Darling Basin, but these are not the main cause of the catastrophe. However, because of the current drought, new dams are mooted which will exacerbate the tragedy.

One must mention the Snowy Mountains Scheme (begun in 1949 and finished in 1974) a series of linked dams and tunnels, which was the largest engineering project ever undertaken in Australia and became a national icon. Its purpose was to divert the waters of the Snowy River into the Murray River for agriculture and to provide hydro-electricity. The latter was successful, but the diversion of water for agriculture never really lived up to expectation. One consequence of dams on the Murray River, however, was that it became in effect a series of long pools and never had its scouring pre-colonial flows and overflows. The Murray provides more water than the other rivers in the basin or river system.


Photographs

The photographs included are part of my involvement in the Murray Darling Basin. They relate exclusively to my favourite areas and are not representative of the basin as a whole. Consequently, the photographs are mostly the semi-arid areas of Western New South Wales around the Darling River. I have other favourite places but not the photographs to go with them. Much of the basin is in the semi-arid zone, but the eastern strip primarily on tablelands receives much higher rainfall. Continue reading “The Murray-Darling Basin Catastrophe”

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ABC Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal

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Awesome Annapurna South on the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal
Awesome Annapurna South on the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 11 April 2018

Return to ABC Trek Nepal, November 2017

The basics

In Pokhara the tour agents advertise the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary trek Nepal round trip from Pokhara for from 7 days (even 6). Unfortunately many visitors do the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary trek in a week. It is much too short and if they’ve come from overseas the trek may be dangerous because of altitude. This is the same almost everywhere in Nepal for those coming with only two weeks or less for their vacation.

We planned to take 12 days for the trek. Although, I make the disclaimer — we couldn’t have done it in 7 days. We are too old and too unfit.

This article is the follow-up to our first trek to ABC in 2004 and a companion to it.

My fitness problem this time was that I developed an inflamed meniscus in my knee eight weeks before we left. Hence I spent my time visiting physiotherapists and doing knee exercises, rather than training for the walk. My knee was still sore in Nepal but my knee muscles had been well-strengthened and it wasn’t a problem.

Continue reading “ABC Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal”

Muktinath to ABC Nepal

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Featured Image: Heavily modified panorama of Machhapuchhre or Fishtail from above MBC towards ABC.

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 6 March 2018

Muktinath to ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) trekking in Nepal, 2004
Introduction

We went to ABC in the Annapurna Sanctuary for the second time in December 2017. I thought it might be a good idea to outline our first trek in Nepal in preparation for the photo essay of our more recent trip with a better camera.

It was a much quieter time in Nepal in 2004, because it was in the midst of the Maoist Insurgency.

In the Spring of 2004, we went to Nepal for the first time and began on part of the Annapurna Circuit. We were very ignorant but secured the services of Davendra as our guide/porter on the Internet. Davendra was tall for a Nepali, dark, friendly with a good sense of humour. He was also very patient and helped us to learn the protocols of trekking in Nepal. We had no problems securing accommodation almost anywhere.

Continue reading “Muktinath to ABC Nepal”