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Lets hope all the whingers dont start moaning about having to pay for this!

Bracks announces $5 billion water plan

Rachel Kleinman
June 19, 2007 - 12:05PM

Household water bills will double over the next five years to pay for a $4.9 billion water strategy to secure Melbourne's water supplies.

The centrepiece of the strategy will be a $3.1 billion desalination plant in Victoria's south-east.

The Victorian Government is to build Australia's largest desalination plant in the state's south and a 70-kilometre pipeline from the Goulburn area to boost Melbourne's water supply, Premier Steve Bracks has announced.

The desalination plant will be built in the Wonthaggi region, south-east of Melbourne, at a cost of $3.1 billion. It is expected to provide 150 billion litres of water per year for Melbourne, Geelong, Westernport and Wonthaggi.

The pipeline from the state's north will cost $750 million and is aimed at transferring 75 billion litres of water to Melbourne by 2010.

Mr Bracks also said the Government would expand the state's water grid by adding a new pipeline between Geelong and Melbourne.

"Under today's direct plan almost $5 billion of major new water infrastructure spending on projects will be built right across Victoria, securing our water supplies for the long term," Mr Bracks said.

"Victorians will have access to an extra 375 billion litres of water each year. That's about 50 per cent extra water which will be available for Melbourne itself," he said.

Today's announcement in Melbourne is expected to anger some rural communities who object to their water being piped to Melbourne.

Coastal communities have previously expressed concern about the environmental impacts of a desalination plant.

Mr Bracks said he believed the government was making the right decision.

"I'm confident we have the right plan for the future," he said.

theage.com.au, with AAP
 

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Oooo this is close to me. There's some very nice coastal scenery and dive sites near Wonthaggi, but I guess they've taken these into acount. Good for jobs in my local area, yay!
 

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Latest I heard is that they want to put it at Kilcunda (tiny town west of Wonthaggi). This would be a mistake 'cause Kilcunda is very picturesque. There are plenty of areas of the coastline around there that would be better than Kilcunda.
 

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What will happen though between now and when the desal plant is built? There is no way in hell our water supply will last until 2011 and on the assumption that it won't rain enough, which I think will definitely happen, we are on track to run out of water by April next year.

Current levels are at 28% and I rekon they won't go any higher than 32 or 33% before summer. I rekon by the end of summer levels will be around 10% or so.
 

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^^ the question is, where do you catch this water.

More seriously, if weather belts continue to move polewards as a result of Global warmng, Victoria will have a climate akin to that of Geraldton or (even worse) Carnavon WA. Which would make new dams even less rewarding.

The CSIRO Atmospheric Research Unit predicted these trends five years ago.
 

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^^ the question is, where do you catch this water.

More seriously, if weather belts continue to move polewards as a result of Global warmng, Victoria will have a climate akin to that of Geraldton or (even worse) Carnavon WA. Which would make new dams even less rewarding.

The CSIRO Atmospheric Research Unit predicted these trends five years ago.
Spending the money giving people household water tanks. Plenty of water falls on my roof.

As for the global warming thing, you know desal plants use massive amounts of power right?
 

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Not as much as people might think. Up here in QLD the power used to run a mega desal plant would be less than piping the water from the proposed traveston dam to Brisbane (about 150km) not to mention the Carbon Emissions created by dams. Also, desal plants can run of green energy.
 

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Watch my Chops
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Spending the money giving people household water tanks. Plenty of water falls on my roof.

As for the global warming thing, you know desal plants use massive amounts of power right?
In WA we offset them by Wind Power (Not good) then planted trees equal the X capacity over X years post X years. (ala Enviro good). This will be a Similar Size to Perths next one.
 

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Well, wonthaggi was marked as the site for a victorian nuke plant if we ever got one (one of a few possible sites) With the desal plant being built there, it's only logical to put the nuclear powerstation there too, that way thedesal can run right off the powerplant and there are allready transmittion lines from wonthaggi to morwell (states power centre) and melbourne.

Bring it on, i visit wonthaggi twice every year, my uncle practically owns half the town.

As mentioned, it's too late, would have been good to have started construction at the start of this year.
 

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Spending the money giving people household water tanks. Plenty of water falls on my roof.

As for the global warming thing, you know desal plants use massive amounts of power right?
I thought there were already substantial incentives for people to catch rainwater off their roofs. Living in a small townhouse, it isn't really practical for me in the city: all the roof surfaces are just a few sq. metres (and since I never water my garden, trying to get the water to the toilet or the laundry in the centre of the house under a concrete slab, with party walls either side, would be a huge problem).

On the other hand, down the bush, all the water comes off the roof ... as it always has, without a Government subsidy.

Ultimately though, the government is expected to deliver "potable" water to major urban centres: and you don't get that from collecting the water from the dead rat on your roof.
 

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As for the global warming thing, you know desal plants use massive amounts of power right?
I did some research into this a few years ago. The power consumption is actually very reasonable, the power of a small toaster will get you about 1000litres per hour if I remember correctly.

Desalination works basically by pushing water through a filter. Not exactly rocket science.
 

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Wouldn't it be easier to catch the salt free water that FALLS OUT OF THE SKY?
Not really. The hard bit is catching it in large doses. And if the fresh water doesn't fall from the sky, you're screwed. I know people who have had to live entirely off tank water and it is amazing how much rain you need on your roof to keep up the supply.
 

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Not really. The hard bit is catching it in large doses. And if the fresh water doesn't fall from the sky, you're screwed. I know people who have had to live entirely off tank water and it is amazing how much rain you need on your roof to keep up the supply.
We've never run out, and we've been living off tank water for one hundred years here. This is for the house, the dairy is another matter as it uses alot more water for cleaning etc. It usually runs out in years of drought (two of the last five years we've had to buy in water). It always fills to overflowing during the wetter months though, so if we just put in more storage then we probably would survive the bad years too.

It's amazing how quickly a tank will fill from a few showers. Most roofs are large and any rain that falls on them is 100% runoff. Our tank has been full for months now, even after one of the driest summers on record.
 

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^^How big were your personal tanks? Could they fit on suburban blocks?

Also water supplies for industry, multi unit dwellings and commercial premesis are also required...hence the need for large water sources.
 
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