Drought Policy

(twisty) #41

They could do something like this …

Like the rest of New South Wales, Mulloon Creek is in drought. The egg and beef operation, 45 minutes outside Canberra, is experiencing its driest seven months on record, with less than 150mm of rainfall.

But, unlike other farms in the region, there’s water flowing through the creek — crystal clear water, good enough to drink.

This is no miracle — it’s the result of Mr Coote’s dedication over a decade to the ethos of Peter Andrews, lauded for his ability to rehabilitate dry, degraded and salt-ravaged landscapes.

Australian Story’s 2005 episode on Mr Andrews and Tarwyn Park, the Hunter Valley property where he pioneered his controversial land regenerating system known as natural sequence farming, was one of the program’s most popular ever.

It’s pretty basic stuff.

Using rocks, fallen trees and other natural debris, a weir is constructed across the creek, not to stop the water from flowing through, but to slow the water down.

It then has a chance to seep into the landscape on either side, rather than gushing down the creek system and straight out to sea, taking important nutrients with it.

And there’s some science behind it …

Scientific benchmarking has proven the success of the work Mr Coote and Mr Andrews undertook in 2006, now known as the Pilot Project, with a 63 per cent increase in production on the hydrated land.

Two years ago The Mulloon Institute was recognised by the United Nations as one of only five case studies globally to demonstrate landscape-scale sustainable agriculture.

(Andrew Downing) #42

Have you seen this guy before?
He’s got a really interesting story about how to reverse desertification based on herding practices.
He’s also actually been doing it in quite a few places.

4 Likes
(twisty) #43

No. Very interesting and a bit Permaculture with rotational grazing. I’m good with that.

(Andrew Downing) #44

Yeah, the idea that grass lands and large herds are a symbiotic relationship is interesting.

(Andrew Downing) #45

Hey, and now that I watched a YouTube video about reversing desertification, it keep throwing up new similar items …

China is at it too.

1 Like
(Andrew A) #46

I am not scientist, but definitely think land clearing has been a contribution to drought in Australia. Plantations and Forests retain humidity and allow for rain to occur when there is destabilisation in weather patterns. New water projects should include tree planting and irrigation for these trees where cleared land is not in use. Partial areas of farmland should be reserved for small clusters of trees to create small micro climate zones. I have come to this conclusion due to what occurs at Canarvon Gorge. Even in drought it rains at Canarvon due to the forest that lays within. This is a good example of the benefits of micro climate zones.

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(Laura) #47

you are quite right.
How about we also stop chopping down old-growth and rainforests?

(twisty) #48

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01026-8

tl:dr … Plantations suck at storing carbon, compared to natural forests.

Restoring natural forests is the best way to remove atmospheric carbon. Plans to triple the area of plantations will not meet 1.5 °C climate goals. New natural forests can.

To stem global warming, deforestation must stop. And restoration programmes worldwide should return all degraded lands to natural forests — and protect them.

1 Like
(Andrew Downing) #49

How does that work out?
Short term, maybe the diversity of plants in a natural ecosystem will suck up more carbon, but then it has to plateau in terms of it growth, because as much dies as grows, so it becomes carbon neutral. In a plantation, we keep going through cycles of cutting them down, and using the wood to build protected long term structures, meaning that the carbon is preserved in them, and then we grow more trees on the same site, to suck up more carbon.

(twisty) #50

The argument is that regular plantation clearing releases more carbon via waste decomposition while natural forests don’t thereby increasing sequestration. I think the article is written with the idea that more needs to be done, quickly.

Safety glasses on.

(Laura) #51

first order of business: we stop clearing old growth forests and illegally logging rain forests like in East Gippsland.

(twisty) #52