Water walk heading through Macarthur

Water warriors: Walk for Water members Michael Streatfeild, Julie Sheppard (left) and Anne O’Brien will pass a bottle of Cataract Dam water between themselves and the group as they complete the walk. Pictures: Anna Warr
Water warriors: Walk for Water members Michael Streatfeild, Julie Sheppard (left) and Anne O’Brien will pass a bottle of Cataract Dam water between themselves and the group as they complete the walk. Pictures: Anna Warr

Hundreds of environmentally-conscious Sydney-siders will take part in a 160 kilometre walk this month to raise public awareness of the dangers of coal mining and coal seam gas drilling to Sydney’s water catchment areas.

The Walk for Water, which sees members of Stop CSG, Western Sydney Environment Network and Protect Sydney’s Water unite with other like-minded individuals, will kick off its first leg from Cataract Dam to Camden on February 21.

Radio personality Alan Jones will join the walkers at Cataract Dam to launch the event at 10.30am.

Participant and co-organiser Michael Streatfeild said the walk was aimed at ‘‘drawing some attention to the coal mining of water catchments’’.

‘‘Our endgame is to increase public awareness as to what is going on around our catchments,’’ the West Hoxton resident said.

Walk for Water participants. Picture: Anna Warr

Walk for Water participants. Picture: Anna Warr

‘‘Coal-mining and coal seam gas pollution impact on our drinking water and our agricultural water.’’

The week-long walk, which will be completed in stages and involve the ceremonial passing of a bottle of Cataract Dam water at each stage completion, will see participants travel through Camden and Campbelltown, before heading on to Liverpool, Parramatta and finally finishing at Parliament House in Sydney.

The group will visit local MP’s offices, including Bryan Doyle and Andrew McDonald, and hold several community talks during the walk, the first planned for Koshigaya Park at 2pm on Sunday, February 22.

‘‘Enough is enough,’’ Mr Streatfeild said.

‘‘We are calling on the Coalition Government to honour its word and end destructive mining and gas development in our drinking water catchments.’’

Walk for Water participants. Picture: Anna Warr

Walk for Water participants. Picture: Anna Warr

Mr Streatfeild told the Advertiser that billions of litres of water is being lost each year due to mining.

‘’Longwall coal mining is cracking creek beds and draining swamps through the catchment, resulting in three billion litres of water lost every year,’’ he said.

‘’That is enough water to fill 1200 Olympic-sized swimming pools or for 43 million ten-minute showers.

‘‘Sydney’s drinking water supply is one of the cleanest in the world, but that is being put at risk by destructive coal mining practices and coal seam gas development.’’

Walk for Water participants. Picture: Anna Warr

Walk for Water participants. Picture: Anna Warr

For more information on the Walk for Water, visit walk4water.net, the group's Facebook page or view their walk map.

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