The faces behind the Darling River crisis

RIGHT now, farmers and families on remote properties near the Darling river are dealing with a water crisis that would be expected in third world countries. 

Yesterday, The Project, revealed the Faces behind the Darling River Crisis featuring fifth generation farmer Kate McBride sharing the stories of those living along the river bank, calling for action

Mrs McBride, who lives on a farm around two hours out of Broken Hill, right near to the Darling River, told The Project that the river and the communities around its banks were "dying".

For months there has been a red alert for for blue-green algae in the Lower Darling as the river ceased to flow and temperatures regularly topped 45C.

The river stopped running last August and the remaining waterholes have turned an ugly bright green. The river has become undrinkable, unswimmable and unsuitable for bathing.

When the river reaches a red alert, the government advice is contact with the river should be avoided.

 

The Darling River at Menindee covered with dead fish again. Supplied: Rob Greggory
The Darling River at Menindee covered with dead fish again. Supplied: Rob Greggory

The fish in the river are suffering and dying, with another fish kill being shared across social media this morning.

Local families, farms, and livestock rely on the river as a water source. 

One local resident told The Project the tap water in their home smelled of sulfur and they had been forced to completely live off rainwater. Now even that is getting very low. 

"This is like a third world country. The basic right to clean water and we don't have it," the local resident said. 

Mrs McBride also told The Project that you can't drink the water from the river and boiling will not fix the issue.

"Blue Green Algie has been linked to motorneurone disease, within the past within the past few years we've had three cases. Now with a township of 500 people, that's just disproportionate," Mrs McBride said.

Mrs McBride said that she believes there are two main issues right now. 

"The Darling River is just below the Lake Menindee's, in 2016, they were full which should have meant at least seven years of water supply but only two years down the track they're pretty much empty," she said.

"Secondly, two manly water licenses are being handed out further up the catchment which isn't' allowing those flows that should be coming down to replenish the Menindee Lakes.

"The water that we've always had, that's always been there, has all of a sudden disappeared."

Watch the full video of the segment below.