Water Theft & Pollution

Without water, life as we know it would not be able to survive on this planet. 

The World Health Organisation reports that ‘by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas’. Australia is already classified as water stressed even though we have one of the lowest population densities in the world. However, ample potable water is found in the more heavily populated centres, which appears to have instilled a feeling of complacency with little thought given to preventing pollution entering our waterways. 

  • Littering
  • Failure to fence off waterways to livestock
  • Atrocious logging practices
  • Badly managed storm water
  • Inadequate erosion control measures in agriculture, and around construction of infrastructure and urban development
All contribute to a water crisis and is happening right here in the Clarence Valley.  

When it comes to damming the river, Clarence Valley residents are united in opposition. “TELL ’em they’re dreaming” has been the response to a plan hatched by a Queensland council to pipe water from the Clarence River to their city water supply. 

However, when it comes to caring for the Clarence River, and the quality of its water, there is no such expression of fervour. In fact, one previous Mayor successfully moved to make Grafton the “wake boat capital of Australia”. Wake boating is without doubt one of the most damaging activities conducted along the Clarence River, and is banned in many other rivers around the world because of that.

Early in 2021, the Clarence Valley Council was unable to refill the Shannon Creek dam for a period of 4 months because of the high turbidity levels in the normally pristine Nymboida River. Forestry and landscape clear-felling, cultivation of pine and hardwood plantations, cattle trampling the river and creek banks in state forests which are leased for grazing, and no requirements for landowners to fence off creek banks from livestock, all contributed to the drinking water off stream reservoir being unable to be refilled.

Now, the latest threat comes from mining, with two exploration companies drilling across the catchment and talking open-cut mining to access a range of toxic substances including antimony, gold, and copper.  

Water quality, particularly in our rivers, is a scandal!