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The drought in eastern Australia which has been partially blamed for spiralling food costs is set to entrench into a devastatingly permanent change to the region’s climate, according to the Murray Darling Basin Commission (MDBC).
For over five years rainfall has been so low that lake levels in some areas have plunged to below sea level. This surpasses the worst 2055 climate change predictions and introduces the new risk of land being poisoned by salt and sulfide deposits.
The situation has become so grave that the water system, usually controlled at state level, is now being managed at a federal level by the MSBC. Their plans look set to cut crop irrigation supplies still further, spelling bad news for food prices both domestically and worldwide.
Dr Wendy Craik, chief executive of MDBC, commented: “Unfortunately there is no improvement in sight … the prognosis for the future’s not good.”