Monday, December 20, 2010

Levee Repair work begins

Cannot believe I wrote about levee danger this morning at one o'clock this afternoon ABC News release the article attached to the heading of this article. Just hope it is not too little too late!

Murray levels Surges to 20 year highs

This Article in The Adelaide Advertiser today is amazing.

I am absolutely astounded that it has taken our authorities this long to issue a warning on the impending flood conditions in South Australia. What is also not being mentioned is that the degeneration of the River Bank and levees because of the drought may not be good enough to hold it back. Blind Freddy could see this coming at least three weeks ago.

Menindee full, Lake Victoria full, Lake Cargellico full, the Murray, the Darling, the Murrumbidgee, tributaries all flowing and varying degrees of flood. The Hume is full, Burrinjuck is full, Blowering is full. Downstream is already running very high. All of this water finally gets together up by Mildura how obvious is this people.

I am also fed up with people bleating about the desalination plant here in Adelaide. We have missed the point here - ADELAIDE MUST HAVE A DESAL PLANT - when our reservoirs are full we only have 9 months supply of water. We already rely too heavily on the River.

All of the measures to secure South Australia’s water are required in this State - storm water harvesting, waste water recycling and desalination.

The flood will go by and by this time next year we could well be out of water. The drought is coming Mother Nature has told us so. She has just given us sixty seconds of think music.

Brisbane can mothball it’s desal because now their Reservoirs are full they have 13 years supply of water without another drop of rain. They have also linked all of their storage so whichever dam fills they can then pump surplus to another, thus not wasting water to the Ocean e.g. Hinze Dam on the Gold Coast Hinterland fills most years even in drought. It is now able to pump back to Wivenhoe and others. I am fed up with politicians, bureaucrats, scientists and the public living in their stupid little silos and not taking a long term whole of Australia view on this. Please do not tell me it costs too much to fix this. This is an expense that simply must happen and must take into account all stakeholders. The River System is over allocated and there has to be some recovery of allocation. Uncontrolled flood plain water harvesting is a travesty to the environment and needs to have serious review. There are so many issues that must be considered regarding environmental and economic consideration. We must take all of these issues into consideration now.

The Chairman of MDBA quits over advice on the terms of reference governed by the Act. The Australian Public has spoken we are not happy with the terms of reference. The Prime Minister in her news conference following the resignation of the Chairman of MDBA reflected the wishes of Australians and the CEO tells us he is just going blindly forward on the report as originally laid out in the act. Hello is anyone listening we need the whole issue looked at and it is not just confined to the Murray Darling Basin. Is Minister Burke supporting the comments of the Prime Minister I am confused – will the report meet the wishes of all stakeholders based on Prime Minister Gillard’s statement or simply continue down what MDBA tells us is the limitations of what they can do under the act.

Tony Burke MP tells us of the population growth aspirations of this country. How does he intend to feed and water them if we do not address this problem now? If the act needs changing pass the amendment now. Show me a politician who could possibly object to allowing the report to address the whole problem.

The loss of production in the basin, which represents one third of Australia’s food supply, would have horrendous effect on our economy, if not now certainly in the future when the minerals run out.

This is problem is man made and can be fixed by men. E.g. Burrinjuck and Blowering are overflowing into the Murrumbidgee and Tumut rivers respectively. They are just adding to the downstream flood big time. Snowy Mountains Hydro in a flood has no ability to recycle that water back to Lake Eucumbene that sits at the Head of this and is currently only at one third capacity (one Sydney Harbour). No, the water is just adding to the floods being experienced downstream. Think, if we could pump back to Eucumbene and fill it (3 Sydney Harbours) contemplate the ability to maintain flows, environmental and economic in times of drought.

Think if we could fill every water storage up and down the Eastern Seaboard, Dartmouth, Eildon, Warragamba etc etc.

This is a cost Australia must look at now, a cost that will be amortised into infinity. Equally we must put into play Nationwide Controls and Management. The warning I give is we are not taking a helicopter view point here – each Silo is sitting in its own little space and completely ignoring the issues of the Silo alongside.

Water in this country is not just restricted to the Murray Darling Basin it is a National issue please, please, please Prime Minister take a holistic affirmative view on a solution that benefits all. The current perspective is narrow minded and short term view.

Listen to Mother Nature but it is still only sixty seconds of think music.

Ironically as I write this Prime Minister Gillard is announcing the NBN Business Plan. I support NBN please tell me why is the cost of fixing Water Security any less important than an improved Internet connection.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Here comes a whole lot of water

If this is the state of play in the Murray River below Mildura then what is going to happen when this actually gets here. Where this photo was taken by Senator Simon Birmingham the Murrumbidgee has not yet peaked. There is whole lot of water going on and from what I hear most wetlands all the way down are now full. The Darling is flowing and the wet season has not started yet. The Murray and all its tributaries are in flood upstream.
I just hope we use natures relief period to ensure that we get it right for natures next drought.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Get with the Program

Do we honestly think we can sit in a country of approximately the same size as the USA with only 20million people compared to 300million in the USA. Global population will insist that ultimately we are going to have to use our space to accommodate the world.
Science is going to have to work out how we find enough water and resources to deal with what commonsense says is inevitable.

I ask therefore why doe Governments ignore the fact that Water is going to be a basic requirement for this inevitable population requirement.

Why therefore do we insist on ignoring the engineering and scientific advancements that will see the desalination of water and use of our Northern Rivers to water our population and our food resources. Israel, Saudi Arabia have been looking at and developing the kind of technologies we can use for years and yet we sit on our hands until we have to start marching down the street to protect our families and livelihood.

It seems to me as an island with a few Kilometres of Coast line, some wide open spaces and a fair bit of arable land if only we can get water to it that we do not start now. Solar power generation and desalination technologies exist - they are about as green as we can get right now but we turn our back on them

Frankly if we used our brain this country could be drought proof if we used the known technologies right now.

What are we waiting for get the engineers and scientists going and shift water to where we need it for environmental and socio economic purposes. Why have various Murray Darling Authorities religiously ignored the opportunities that have been presented to them - even in the last decade.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Can someone tell me please?

How far advanced is the work on the Menindee Lakes, how many kilometres of open channels have been converted to pipes since the promises to carry out this work three years ago.

In action is the issue not ripping of peoples livelihoods and exposing this country to yet more imported product.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The report - the modelling

Out of the mouth of the Mike Taylor the Chairman of MDBA at the Public Meeting in Shepparton this morning.

Taylor: ''The models are on the table to be questioned.''

How can we proceed on a report when the Chairman tells us the modeling is questionable.A fact that has been stated ever since the report was released.

Equally a local says that the Murray Valley is sustainable. My information is that Lake Eildon is over allocated at full capacity.Compliments of this season the Lake is back to a bit above 57% capacity how long before it is gone.

Must find more water.

Great Article Scary Photos

The article prepared by UNSW is very informative. The photos beg the question - is this viable water usage. Open Canals and Flood Irrigation just does not make sense in this country.

So the Brisbane Dams are full and overflowing

Contemplate this Brisbane dams are full and spewing Gigalitres to the sea.

The water reserve full Dams offers Brisbane is about 11 years supply. It is interesting that they are not getting rid of water restrictions - good plan in my view.

Full Dams in Adelaide represents 9 months supply and we are easing water restrictions - why.

Brisbane is now concerned about floods similar to the 1970's when more rain hits this week.

Now what if that water was being pumped with that of other flooding rivers (e.g. Bellingen)to water storages further south to fill up all Eastern Seaboard Dams. What if the excess was being pumped to the Warrego and its tributaries and therefore ultimately down the Darling.

Why are these things not being considered and please stop talking about cost. Amortised over infinity it looks pretty cheap to me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Murray Darling Basin Report

It is of course with great interest that we all have now seen the infamous report. It is also interesting that at this time the economic modelling attached to this has not been released but as the Chairman pointed out his term of reference hinged very largely on the environmental requirements of the river.

How does a report that is so hamstrung by its terms of reference mean anything at all when the economic model is clearly so fundamentally wrong. Until the Federal Government takes total control of the Basin a balance point of view can never be gained.

The primary production issues of the Murray Darling Basin must be taken into account and if we place any credence in Julian Cribb and his assertions in His Publication the Coming Famine we simply cannot afford to be short sighted on these issues.

The issues are much wider and deeper than what this report actually tries to address. Our new Minister for Sustainability will need to urgently consider how we are going to genuinely feed and water our own burgeoning population. It is stated that our population will grow in excess of 400,000 per annum ( I believe that is conservative and will accelerate quite quickly) let alone foreign investment viewing a vast expanse of unpopulated areas (regardless of their sustainability) and this is evidenced by the amount of Rural Property that is being purchased by Asian Interests. Believe me they will just throw money at the problems as they recognise their own inability to house and feed their own burgeoning populations. (China is growing at the rate of approximately 1 million per quarter).

Of course we must consider the environment but we seem to conveniently forget that our major River system prior to the advent of locks and dams was fairly intermittent at best and many of our wetlands would dry out regularly anyway.

Clearly we have over allocated and this must be addressed. It is my opinion that water trading only exacerbated the problem and not even sure how we allowed that to happen that water could be traded at all let alone separately from the property. I really believe that water allocations should be nothing more than a licence to draw water that can then be managed by the Authority. Trading only assures that all allocation is drawn.

We really must find additional water for the whole of the eastern system. Today the Wivenhoe in Queensland is full and water is being allowed to escape to the sea by the gigalitre.

I still believe every river on the eastern seaboard needs to be connected by pipeline and every reservoir and dam filled from flood water. If we achieved this all the way from Cape York to Wilson’s Promontory then these dams could ensure water supply for our major population centres and be used to direct flow in to tributaries of the Murray Daring Basin. If major storages like Warragamba (Currently 55%) Lake Eucumbene (currently 30%) Lake Eildon (Currently 57%). And this does not even begin to consider the amount of storage that is currently under capacity. And yet flood waters go out to see daily.

Yes the project is huge and will cost a lot but it sure makes for one hell of a stimulus package for the good of all Australians. When the Minerals run out we still want to export food.

Hydro stations could be built into the system to power the pumping required and also add additional green energy to the grids of Australia.

“We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask "why not?”. JFK
The report as it stands is severely under done and needs a much bigger overview before we hurt Australia irrevocably.

If all were full from flood waters then security would be a given and again we could feed the head waters of various tributaries of the Murray Darling Basin.

Step 1. Remove Open Channels in the Murray Valley and Riverina
Step 2. Do the works promised on Meninindee Lakes
Step 3. Review every water allocation along the river and see what is really required not just mass selfish expectation
Step 4. Start a new project that would see every River and Reservoir being utilised sensibly to their maximum and ensuring we capitailse on years like this that have seen a lot of water wasted to the whole Sustainable Australia Need

Thursday, May 6, 2010

All Quiet on the Riverfront

It amazes me - so we have had some rain - a reasonable amount of water may make the whole distance to the sea, but the problem has not changed.

All discussion has ceased - action unchanged - what do we have to do?