In catchments where there is a high component
of plantation or re-growth mono-cultures, stream flows rise
and fall very quickly due to little or no bio-mass on the ground
and so the speed of run-off increases dramatically.
When run-off increases, erosion, soil and nutrient loss results
in the contamination of waterways and pauperisation of the land.
While the initial run-off from plantations and mono-cultures
is substantial, the uptake of water by young vigorously growing
trees and evapo-transpiration can reduce stream flows by up
to 50% at around 50 years of age with relative catchment stability
returning at 150 years plus. [Ref : Catchment Stability--
Declining supply of water versus
rising demand in Tasmania's countryside.
As rainfall continues to decline,
river and lake levels are falling.
However, large scale conversion of the Tasmanian countryside
to plantations is massively increasing the demand for
water. Thirsty plantations take water before it enters
our streams. Tasmania is at the cross over point between
supply and demand. Projections are based on data collated
from the Tasmanian DPIW, Gunns' IIS and hydrological
|Plantations for World
Scale Pulp Mill are too Large for Tasmanias
Water is becoming more precious but the pulp mill plantations
are leading to chronic and increasing shortages of water
for farmers, communities and towns in the decades ahead.
As the % area of a catchment covered by plantations
grows, the river levels fall,
M O R E from TAP. . . . . .
If plantation growers were required to pay the same price for
the water they use as other users and irrigators have to pay,
then they would not be viable.
Corporate Forest Industries together State Forest managers,
when in changing the nature and structure of forests whether
to re-growth, aerial seeded eucalypts or as plantation growers
should be required to pay the same price for water as other
users, and held liable for the water they deprive those other
users and communities from.