Posted 30 May 2012
Water is a precious resource. Water is essential for sustaining life for humans, animals, plants and the environment: for which we are dependent for our own survival.
Whilst it is important to maintain the health of our waterways, we also need to be mindful that the Murray-Darling Basin provides 40% of our food. As population grows, both here and overseas: the demand for food and water will only increase.
Other than having consideration for our future, good government should also open to the ‘lead’ taken by those in business, if the government is to provide for the prosperity of the people of this country.
BHP’s recognises the emerging demand for increased agriculture to meet a growing demand for food to meet an increasing world population, hence it saw a business opportunity for the Canadian Potash Corp.
A wider scope may also be necessary, to include an agricultural audit, to ensure water is used wisely, i.e. to avoid growing water intensive crops; such as rice, on sandy type soils.
Regarding the Murray-Darling Basin plan, which has primarily focused on water buy-backs and water allocation. It is disheartening that little has been done or spent towards improving the infrastructure and water efficiencies, which should be a primary consideration that would benefit all.
Government should take steps towards supporting sustainable agriculture as a means for providing increased prosperity for our Country. Additional sources of water should also be considered, such as piping tropical floodwater from Queensland; increased damming; use of underground and desalinated water.
We need to consider where the future opportunities that could sustain our prosperity, as demand for our mineral resources, which greatly contribute to our current prosperity, will taper off in the future. There will always be a need for food, especially as agricultural land is reduced to make room for population growth. By 2050, it is estimated that there could be an additional 2 billion people, which equates to approximately 30% growth in next 40 years.
Picture source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Murray-catchment-map