Melbourne and Water

This is an issue that I just don’t get. One side of the debate is expressed very well in this Youtube clip. The other side has been expressed variously by the Victorian Government as “there’s no point building a dam if there’s no water to fill it” (gippsland has flooded twice at massive cost since Bracks made that remark), and “please see our website to see our initiatives in securing Melbourne’s water”. Bugger all on website. We are transporting water from the already dry Goulburn Valley and building a desalination plant at massive monetary and environmental cost in South Gippsland. Can anyone who understands the issue defend the State Government’s action on this, or even the State Opposition’s seeming inaction. To me, the solution appears simple, but it wouldn’t be the first time that I found out that I didn’t fully understand the issues.

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25 Responses

  1. James,

    I’m not familiar with the issues in detail, but I reckon that something that’s as critical to the nation’s survival as water management perhaps really ought to have Federal intervention rather than State by State management, as clearly the States are only going to look after their own best interests – potentially at the expense of other States.

  2. You’re possibly right, Reb, although the issue of the Mitchell River doesn’t actually affect other states, it’s in East Gippsland.

  3. Perhaps I should’ve made my position more self-evident – “I don’t know nuthin.”

  4. Yes James, instead of damming the Mitchell we will have a huge energy intensive desalination plant pumping out carbon. Desal plants would have to be the most environmentally unfriendly and expensive way of providing water.

    Additionally the government will ruin the fantastic Kilcunda surf beach, by making it into an industrial zone.

  5. Was thinkin’ the other day. There is all this rain falling from the heavens. Man (woman) stands and watches the rains fall to the earth. The rain gathers into streams, the streams become rivers. The rivers run into the sea.

    Man builds a desal plant and pumps the whole bloody thing back up the hill again!

  6. Quite seriously, does anyone know the opposing viewpoint?

  7. James, the alternative policy is called “grow cactus, and go thirsty”

  8. & the Lord said unto the Southern States…

    “Thou shalt perish of thirst, such is thine animosity for thou”

    & the Lord scratched her thorax & further stated…

    “Both South Australia & Victoria will be consumed by thy camel grasses…but the Victorians will piss & moan the longest & the loudest”

    thus spake the Lord.

  9. Brisbane water supply (three dams plus now access to thr Hinze if needed) 58.85%

    Last year and the year before people were saying the dams were built in the wrong places…duh!

    Build the DAM(s)

  10. Build the DAM(s)

    What about all the drowned trees? Trees have feelings too, you know.

    / ACF, WWF, Greens, Peta, Bob Brown, assorted other soft-c*cks

    Build the dam already!

    / Sparta

  11. Tony – “What about all the drowned trees? Trees have feelings too, you know.”

    Yes, we should forget about the ocean life, increasing the local salt concentration by a factor of 3 or 4 is good for them.

    Desal = good, dams = bad.

    Simple.

  12. Desal plants are, as already inferred above, a futile, uneconomic & inadequate solution.

    Happily I think Adelaide is building one too.

  13. Of course on could look at the historical trends not only in Victoria but across Australia. Rainfall patterns in Australia are changing. Any number of dry dams here in Qld and have been dry for years. A ‘good’ idea at the time, but now ‘white elephants’.

    But for those with an elevated view, manipulate this link.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi?variable=rain&region=aus&season=0112&period=1970

    There’s a table on the left to have a fiddle. For the busy, try this Victorian link

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi?variable=rain&region=vic&season=0112&period=1970

    While desal plants are not good news, it would be political suicide for a State to run dry.

  14. N5, which dams are currently dry, in Quensland?

  15. TB Queensland, on April 16th, 2009 at 9:58 pm Said

    which dams are currently dry, in Quensland?

    Try the Callide. Been that way for yonks.

    http://www.sunwater.com.au/water_store.htm

    Try Kroombit Dam. Benn at 1% since forever.

    http://www.sunwater.com.au/water_store.htm

    Try Cania Dam. Been at 6% since Adam was a boy.

    http://www.sunwater.com.au/water_store.htm

    Try Wuruma Dam. Been at 2% since …

    Try Bjelke-Petersen Dam. Been below 10% since.

    Won’t go on, but can I suggest a look at the links I provided as to changing rainfall patterns across Australia.

  16. I posted but it was lost but I’ll try again.

    TB Queensland, on April 16th, 2009 at 9:58 pm Said:

    N5, which dams are currently dry, in Quensland?

    TB I’ll only provide one link because it may be the reason my post was lost.

    http://www.sunwater.com.au/water_store.htm

    Click on Callide Dam, Kroombit Dam, Cania Dam, Wuruma Dam and the like. Look at their ‘history’. It’s not so much that they were built in the ‘wrong’ place as that the rainfall patterns have changed. Can I suggest looking at the links I provided earlier.

    text

  17. Two out of two failures. But I will persist.

    TB look at this link and click on the Dams and note their history.

    http://www.sunwater.com.au/water_store.htm

  18. Spammed again!

  19. It’s worth looking at some of the submissions to the Melbourne’s Future Water Supply inquiry…. pity the inquiry was nobbled and Joh Brumby and the executive had signed all the contracts before the inquiry even opened for submissions!

    See also my summary of submissions to the recent (and as yet, without a report) Fed inquiry into saving the Murray/Goulburn… with many blasting Joh’s north/south pipeline.

  20. N5

    Rescued from the spaminator.

  21. TB Dams that are virtually dry in Queensland include: Callide at 9%; Kroombit at 1%; Cania at 6%; Wuruma at 2%; Bjelke-Petersen at 9% and the link I provided will allow you to view same. Look at their history.

    The important point being that the rainfall patterns have changed as i referred to in my earlier link.

    Maybe someone will release my earlier posts. Lol.

  22. N5

    Done done and done!!!

  23. Thanks joni! Serves me right for having so many links.

  24. Topher makes a pretty compelling case for the Mitchell dam as opposed to the desal plant I would have thought.

    It might be smack in the middle of the reduced rainfall area identified in the maps provided by Nature 5, but if the damn thing is still flooding 2-3 metres above its banks every couple of years anyway, it would seem to be a logical candidate for a dam. (One wonders what the damn thing did before annual average rainfall dropped 50%. Flood 6 metres?).

    Reduced rainfall or no, if it’s still regularly flooding, that’s water the State could use.

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