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Podcast: Forgotten River takes you to Pooncarie the middle of the Murray-Darling basin, but last in line

Caught between thirsty cash croppers upstream and down, the people who live along the Darling/Barka are fighting a battle on two fronts.

Years of drought and no flow events build an underlying stress and tension along the river, which is only relieved when flow is restored.

 Pooncarie grazier Trevor Smith is frustrated by the revolving door of water management bureaucrats. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Pooncarie grazier Trevor Smith is frustrated by the revolving door of water management bureaucrats. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

In episode two of our Forgotten River mini-series we meet the communities between Wentworth and Pooncarie who are tired of their environment and livelihoods being overlooked.

These are the people who've lost land, stock and irrigation guarantees when the river ran dry.

When they're allowed to start the pumps, they run the river backwards. The water that's already gone past gets sucked back to the stage where it doesn't flow. And we still don't get what was supposed to have come past in the first place.

Trevor Smith, Pooncarie Grazier

They've taken on water policy makers, been to countless meetings, while managing their farms and raising their families.

The Darling may be flowing now but it's uncertain whether it will be in next year or the year after that.

You can listen to every episode of Forgotten River now, here, or by searching Forgotten River in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen.

This story Water policy plays piggy in the middle with livelihoods first appeared on The Canberra Times.