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Its a sleepy little town
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,15044864%5E3102,00.html

Water supply to run dry
Chris Griffith, City Hall reporter
22apr05

SOUTHEAST Queensland is only 18 months away from "total failure" of the drinking water supply, a top-secret Brisbane Water memo leaked to The Courier-Mail has starkly warned.

Experts at Brisbane Water, Brisbane City Council's water management arm, have calculated the region will effectively run dry by November next year unless there is a normal wet season this summer – or more than 600mm of rain.

Almost 60mm, the height of a gumboot, has to fall in any two-week period just to get measurable run-off into Wivenhoe and Somerset dams, the two largest dams in the area.

Electricity supplies also could be hit because Tarong and Swanbank power stations rely heavily on water from Somerset and Wivenhoe dams, as well as the Brisbane and Bremer rivers.






The average capacity at Wivenhoe, Somerset and North Pine, the major dams in the region, is down to 41.5 per cent, a record low.

The experts mentioned in the memo outlined a worst case scenario where there were no dam "inflows" over the next 18 months.

Even with all proposed restrictions in place, that reduce the region's storage to 10 per cent by November 2006. The remaining water might be undrinkable.

"Our best advice to date indicates extracting water down to and below 10 per cent will have considerable water quality and engineering consequences," the memo warned.

"We are now entering our dry season and low probability of rain before our next wet season in October 2005.

"This means we have 12 months and one wet season left before total failure."

The memo warned there was no contingency plan in place for "dam failure" except the belief that it would eventually rain, but it also revealed that Brisbane Water had started investigating emergency supplies of water.

Council's city business chairman John Campbell yesterday called for an immediate review of water management, saying the situation facing the region was critical.

"I have seen a worst-case scenario presented to me that paints a grim picture," he said.

SEQWater Corporation, which manages Wivenhoe, Somerset and North Pine, last night disputed the contents of the memo.
 

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Like whatever....
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There is an excellent article in today's weekend financial review - page 43. 'Queensland's growing pains". Its a bit scathing but its well worth the read as its all about infrastructure planning, or the lack there has been of it.

And yet they still come...

jt
 

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Its a sleepy little town
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At least theyve realised now they need to plan ahead, and are doing it.

But "It will get worse before it gets better"
Probably.
 

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Its a sleepy little town
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well if you go look in the SEQ plan thread, youll see there are multiple dam projects including new, and upgrades to fix it.

And according to the timeline a new one and a couple of upgrades are set for immediate start, with more later on.

So really, theres nothing to worry about if they get their act together
 

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Captain Awesome
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New dams don't help if there is no rain!!!

If you want something to blame blame all the f**king rural residential estates in Beaudesert Shire. The Wolfdein dam was proposed way back in the 1950s becuase even back then they could forsee that there would eventually be a huge population growth. Back in the late 80s the QLD government tried to build the Wolfdein Dam but it was too late. The entire catchment of the Wolfdein Dam is approximately 400 rural residential properties. This means they can never build the dam anymore. Blame the f**king developers that decided to develop in the catchment and then lied to the buying public saying that the dam would never be built. :rant:

In all seriousness if we don't introduce a large scale water recycling program then we're stuffed. You don't need drinking standard water for flushing toilets, watering the garden or industrial purposes. Therefore waste water treatment and recycling is important. Problem is cost will rule out running a second plumbing system to ever property. Rain water tanks will now be mandatory in all new homes, but that should have been intorduced 5 years ago.

The water crisis has been known for years and nobody has had the political will to do a f**king thing about it!!! Digging your head in the sand won't make it go away!!! :rant:
 

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Or you could do what China is doing while constructing the Three Gorges Dam. Although it would cause an outrage, demolishing houses and moving the residents might be an option.
 

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Captain Awesome
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I don't think the state government has the political will to 'compulsarily aquire' the homes in the Wolfdein Dam catchment.
 

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I don't think we should keep relying on dams for our water. We should build a series of desalination plants along the coast. GCCC already wants to build one at Tugan(20ML) and another at Runaway Bay(100ML). We could then build a large one at Fisherman Islands(250ML[a quarter of Brisbane's usage]). Maybe put another one some where up north. Maybe near Sunshine Coast Airport
 

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Captain Awesome
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Desalinisation is not some magical solution to water issues. It should be an absolute last resort as it requires a hell of a lot of energy and causes significant pollution. A large scale waste water treatment and recycling program for non-drinking use is a much better option.
 

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Its a sleepy little town
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
^ as ive stated before, At nudgee waste treatment plant they have a new* (*was new then) filter system which cleans the waste water and removes everything (EVERYTHING) from it.

It becomes the cleanest water there is. Cleaner than the water you buy in a bottle.
we cant drink it though, its so clean all the minerals were filtered from it, so if you DID drink it it would suck them from you and yeah.. not healty

The point is they said that they use that water to send to factories/businesses etc for industrial use, instead of them using our drinking water.

They need more of those so thta drinking water is infact drinking water.
 

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Desalinisation is a very bad choice in my opinion, so should only be inplace as a very very last resort. I pray that Sydney can avoid it, as it appears to be a very probable option for our issues.
 

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Thank God you were not on Dubai's Engineering team...a city where they successfully use desalination plants for irrigation etc..
 

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One simple solution to the growing water crisis is for all new houses in Melbourne and Sydney be required to have a large water tank 4000-5000 Lts installed to catch the huge amounts of rainwater runoff that is now wasted down stormwater drains.
This water could be used for washing cars and watering the garden and would take the pressure off our dams.
 

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Well Desalination plants can be powered by solar power. I remember something was posted on her about a company in Perth that had found out how to use wave energy to produce desalinated water.

Desalination can be clean.

Recycling water is a good idea too, but at the moment in qld, it's illegal to reuse drinking water for potable uses.
 

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PTnut
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Does Qld have a rebate scheme for ppl installing greywater systems or rainwater tanks in their homes?
 

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Its a sleepy little town
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
^ I think so.
I was watching some ABC program last year about it, and they went around to people who had tanks, and i believe that was mentioned.

All new estates should be required to have them.
 

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^
yep, the rebate is $500 for individuals, and the council will pay 50% of the cost of install tanks in new lots if developers are willing to pay the other half.
 

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Captain Awesome
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There isn't any scheme for greywater reuse yet, but there are those rebates for rainwater tanks.

Desalinastion is still not a realistic option. It uses immense ammounts of energy and causes pollution to the surrounding area.
 
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