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The Murray Darling River
Transcript of The Murray Darling River
Significant natural Features
The Murray-Darling Basin contains much flora and fauna with a count of 35 endangered species of birds, 16 species of endangered mammals and around 46 different native fish species. Some of these animals include the Regent Honeyeater and the meter-long Murray cod.
Unfortunately, 20 species of mammals have already become extinct.
The Basin has a variety of different climate conditions and features. The landscapes range from sub-tropical conditions in the north, high alpine country of the Snowy Mountains to the hot and dry western plains.
An Agricultural Hub?
Fig. 2 The Murray River
Some Environmental problems created by modern societal use
Some of the current initiatives taking place to fix these problems.
A current project going on is the Basin Plan. The plan was created, finalized and is now managed by the MDBA. This plan will create limits on the amount of water that can be taken, both ground water and surface, from the Murray-Darling Basin.
Functions it serves for Australia and it's Society
Where is it?
The Murray Darling basin is located in the south-east of Australia. It starts around Adelaide, extends into Victoria and reaches north up to the lower end of Queensland. The basin covers 1,059,000 square km of Australia's land.
The Murray Darling Basin is a great agricultural hub because of its rivers. They flow through the basin carrying a reliable source of water. 40% of Australia's farms are there. It also produces 1 third of Australia's food supply! The reason all the farms are there and so much food is made there is because of it's fertile land, perfect for growing food.
What does it Produce
States and Authorities responsible for the Murray-Darling Basin
The Murray Darling basin is the catchment for the Murray and Darling Rivers. It is the biggest basin in Australia and one of the biggest in the entire world. It is also one of the driest basins which is divided into the northern Basin (Darling system) and the southern Basin (Murray system). The Basin is Australia's most important agricultural region.
fig. 1 map of Australia an Murray Darling Basin (From http://hqaustralia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/murray_darling_basin_map.jpg)
retrieved from http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/the-murray-river-above-renmark-south-australia-mark-richards.jpg
Fig. 3 Snowy Mountains
The Murray-Darling Basin was used by the early settlements. The Redgum forests provided timber for construction such as building boats, houses and towns. It's reliable water source was used for farming. It also provided a form of transport. People would carry materials, cargo and people around the basin using boats and the main river systems.
Fig. 4 Red gum forest next to the Murray River
retrieved from http://d3lp4xedbqa8a5.cloudfront.net/s3/digital-cougar-assets/AusGeo/2013/09/11/8049/Riverina_red_gums_main.jpg
retrieved from http://cdn.experienceoz.com.au/assets/catalogueType/2/miscGraph/21255.jpg
The Murray Darling Basin contains 40% of Australia's farms. These farms produce many resources for us to use such as wool, cotton, wheat, dairy products, rice, oil-seed, wine, fruit and vegetables and live stock like sheep and cattle.
The timber industry uses the Red gum forests, as a reliable source of timber.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MBDA) is the organization responsible for the Basin. They are responsible for monitoring different programs on behalf of other governments. The MDBA evaluates and organizes plans and projects in the basin. They will talk with other federal agencies and the Basin states about each plan.
The type of problem caused by communities varies. Salinity is a major problem. the removal of deep-rooted native trees and the planting of shallow-rooted crops allows the land water to rise and bring salt to the surface. High concentrations of salt are toxic to plants and animals. The distortion of the ground water causes some areas to go into drought and die. The use of reservoirs, dams and other storage structures on the river changes the river flow patterns which affect natural ecosystems such as wetlands. Livestock grazing is another problem which causes land degradation in many wetlands.
Maintaining some deep-rooted trees would keep the ground water and salt at greater depths.
Taking less water out for irrigation and farming means there is more water left in to flush the river system. Doing this keeps it clean and healthy.
covering irrigation channels reduces the amount of water loss to evaporation therefore reducing the amount of water needed to take.
The Amazon River is one of the biggest river systems in the world being approximately 6500 Km in length. The Amazon is home to many animals and has more than 3000 types of fish with more being discovered all the time. Some animals include Piranhas and Anacondas.
There is a lot of rubbish and pollution in the Amazon river. A big problem is the waste put into the river by mining and industry and the use of chemicals causes permanent damage to the environment.
Amazon River Facts 2014. Retrieved 8th of September 2014 from http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/earth/amazonriver.html
Food for thought 2012. Retrieved 8th of September 2014 from http://worldinfo.org/2012/01/food-for-thought-soybean-endangers-brazil-amazon-rainforest/
People of the Amazon 2003. Retrieved 8th of September 2014 from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/forests/amazon/people-of-the-amazon/
Pollution in the Amazon Rain forests & Rivers 2013. Retrieved 7th of September 2014 from https://earth2mother.wordpress.com/tag/amazon-river-pollution/
River systems of the world 2014. Retrieved 6th of September 2014 from http://www.rev.net/~aloe/river/
The Basin Plan for the Murray-Darling 2014. Retrieved 4th of September 2014 from http://www.water.nsw.gov.au/Water-management/Law-and-policy/National-reforms/Basin-Plan/murray-darling-basin-plan
The Murray-Darling Basin 2014. Retrieved 2nd of September 2014 from http://www.murrayriver.com.au/about-the-murray/murray-darling-basin/
The Murray Darling Basin 2014. Retrieved 29 of August 2014 from http://www.mdba.gov.au/
the need for Water reform 2014. Retrieved 8th of September 2014 from http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/water/basin-plan/need-water-reform
Fig 5. Farm in the Murray Darling Basin
Retrieved from http://www.murrayriver.com.au/images/about_the_murray/murray_darling_basin/agriculture2.jpg
Comparison against the Murray Darling Basin
The Amazon has a staggering 21 million people living there where as the Murray Darling has approximately 2 million. This does make sense considering it has 5.5 million square Km and the Basin only has 1,059,000 square km. But the actual Amazon river is only approximately 6500 km in length. Both the MDB and the amazon ensure adequate water supply for agriculture. The average annual volume of water flowing through the Murray rivers is less than the average daily flow through the Amazon.
I know you think that this is worth top marks!
The Murray Darling Basin is an enormous river catchment feeding minor and major river systems of eastern Australia. This area has provided a dynamic and reliable environment for tens of thousands of years and is filled with many plants, animals and varied landscapes. It needs to be managed carefully to ensure profitable but sustainable uses.
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