Logging industry cares for water

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) has suddenly become concerned for water catchments. It tells us that fast growing eucalypts that come back after a fire, suck up precious water and need to be cut down (all that loverly ash forest in particular). They quote science and figures that we’ve been using for years. But they don’t mention the same effect from fast growing young trees after clearfelling which, after all, “mimics natural occurrences like fire”. Right fellas?

Phil Townsend, Deputy Director of VAFI, made the call on ABC radio’s Country Hour for more logging in order to save towns’ water supplies.

It’s heartening to know that the representative body of the logging industry cares for the towns they suck dry.

ABC Country Hour – July.

CMA selectively cares for water also

The Catchment Management Authority in NE Victoria is predicting the re-growth from burnt-out forests is likely to reduce water run-off into the catchments of the Murray-Darling Basin. John Riddiford from the North East CMA says the amount of water from forest areas could be reduced by half over the next 100 years. He says each hectare of new trees could suck up several Olympic swimming pools of water per year. These are the exact same figures that relate to clearfell logging, yet we never hear the CMA express the same concern over the impact of logging regrowth sucking catchments dry.

Jill / ABC News 24.6.03


Not believing other scientific studies, the Dept of Sustainability and Environment has done its own calculations to work out how much water might really be lost due to logging Melbourne’s water catchment. At a presentation by DSE in mid-August at the Metropole in Melbourne, it was admitted that conservationists’ claims of a 5% drop in water yield was in fact correct. This might not sound like much but is how much is used by 150,000 people a year or 30,000 mega litres annually, or 1,000 litres of water a second – all lost because of logging. This volume will increase to 10% or 60,000 megs in the next 50-100 years.

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