Irrigation cut angers farmers
Farmers that rely on Tasmania’s Mersey River for irrigation are rising up against a 50 per cent cut to their allocations.
The Department of Primary Industries has told around 23 farmers that they will have to make to with less, as a long dry spell continues to plague the state.
Tasmanian Irrigation wanted Hydro Tasmania to allow additional water releases, but Hydro rejected the bid.
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) and Hydro are meeting with farmers and the representatives to discuss the cuts.
Water-users say there is still 90,0000 megalitres of water in storage in the dams, and the amount they have requested is just a fraction of that.
They estimate a loss of production totalling $10 million if the water is not released.
Some have even accused Hydro Tasmania of going back on a decades-old promise to always supply the water they needed.
Hydro Tasmania has issued a statement saying it will maintain the scheduled riparian release in the Mersey, which will be equivalent to the flow that would naturally occur in the river during a dry period without hydro infrastructure.