A 70km pressure tunnel forms part of a proposal in Australia to divert 950,000 megalitres annually from the Clarence river in Queensland to the Murray-Darling basin, predominantly in New South Wales (NSW) .

Civil engineer Geoff White told the National Gas and Power conference in Melbourne at the beginning of September that if the Australian government spent US$3.3bn on the 2,000km diversion scheme, Murray-Darling could avoid the droughts it regularly suffers. White said that 82% of New South Wales is in drought.

No details of the tunnel were given, but White said such a scheme had been developed by a group of civil engineers, including his company, White Industries Australia, over several years.

White said Murray-Darling served 42% of Australia’s farms, and contributed US$5.5bn per year to the economy.