The mismanagement of irrigation, compounded by drought and a drop in commodity prices, has spelled disaster for Australia’s most important agricultural region.
The waters of the Darling River and the massive Murray irrigate a region that produces almost half of Australia’s fresh produce. But the worst drought in over 100 years has plunged the Murray-Darling Basin into crisis causing economic hardship and many farmers to pack up and leave.
Australian climate scientists see the country as ‘extremely vulnerable’ to climate change and the Murray-Darling Basin as a ground zero for global warming. Climate change advisors to Australia’s government have warned that agricultural production in the basin could fall by up to 92 percent by 2100.