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Drought-hit Australia to stop irrigating food bowl

Australia faced an "unprecedentedly dangerous" drought and unless rain falls within weeks irrigation will be cut to the nation's food bowl, Reuters reported prime minister John Howard as saying on Thursday.
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A contingency plan prepared for the government said unless water catchments across the country received heavy and widespread rainfalls before mid-May, allocations for irrigators and environmental river flows would be stopped.

"It is a grim situation and there is no point in pretending to Australia otherwise. We must all hope and pray there is rain," Howard told a news conference at Parliament House in Canberra.
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