Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Taxpayer-purchased water intended for rivers harvested by irrigators – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

This is not a good look agribusiness…………

VIDEO: Communities along the Barwon-Darling worry about water allocation upstream. (ABC News)

RELATED STORY: Murray-Darling plan doomed to fail without more water for conservation, scientists say

RELATED STORY: ‘Who speaks for the river?’: Indigenous leaders voice concerns over Murray-Darling plan

RELATED STORY: Murray irrigators present research to urge halt to Basin Plan water recovery

MAP: Australia

Billions of litres of water purchased by taxpayers to save Australia’s inland rivers are instead being harvested by some irrigators to boost cotton-growing operations, in a policy failure that threatens to undermine the $13 billion Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The pumping of this environmental water means taxpayers have in some cases been effectively subsidising already wealthy agricultural interests, including those of Webster Limited, a publicly-traded company which holds a $300 million water portfolio — the largest Australian-owned private holding in the country.

A Four Corners investigation has found that in the Barwon-Darling system — a critical link in the wider Murray-Darling Basin — NSW Government water extraction rules have given irrigators more reliable access to water than prior to 2012 when the Basin Plan was signed

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