West Berriquin’s weather, water event

June 15, 2017

A television meteorologist and an environmental scientist will be guest speakers at an irrigators’ dinner later this month.

The evening, titled ‘Weather and Water’, will be held at the Deniliquin Golf Club on Thursday, June 29 and is being organised by West Berriquin Irrigators.

Guest speakers will be Channel 7 weather presenter and well-known meteorologist Jane Bunn and highly regarded environmental scientist Peter Gell from Federation University.

Professor Gell is a palaeoecologist (the ecology of fossil animals and plants) who examines change in the condition of wetlands over culturally relevant timelines.

He has written extensively about the Murray-Darling Basin and Coorong and has an interesting perspective on providing the latter with sufficient water.

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan focuses on freshwater flows being delivered from upstream.

However, Prof Gell has said: ‘‘Prior to about the 1950s, for the six or seven thousand years in which the Coorong has been in existence, it has been strongly tidal, and in fact, quite separated from the influence of the river Murray.

‘‘If you are looking to restore it you’re looking for a baseline, and we would suggest the baseline is not 1970 ... what we need to do is get water in there, but it needs to be water from the ocean and not very expensive water from the river.’’

Prof Gell is one of a number of scientists who are questioning the approach being taken under the basin plan.

West Berriquin Irrigators chair Shelley Scoullar said it was a coup to get Prof Gell to Deniliquin and she hoped to attract a big crowd to hear about water management from his perspective.

‘‘We are also delighted that Jane Bunn is returning to Deniliquin for the fourth time,’’ Mrs Scoullar said.

‘‘On her last visit nearly a year ago she predicted above average spring rains, which is certainly what we received.

‘‘Hopefully she will again bring good news about the winter and spring prospects.

‘‘Jane is a highly qualified meteorologist who gives an interesting presentation, explaining how and why weather patterns develop.

‘‘She is in strong demand and we are extremely fortunate that she is able to return to Deniliquin.’’

Mrs Scoullar thanked Deniliquin Freighters for making the event possible.

Tickets are $35, which includes finger food. They are available online through Eventbrite by searching the ‘Weather and Water Event’ or by emailing westberriquinirrigators or by phoning Linda Fawns on 0409044754.

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