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ACT water supply plans

By johnboy 27 March 2009 50

[First filed: March 25, 2009 @ 14:06]

Simon Corbell has announced his plans to end water restrictions, and we won’t even have to drink our wee.

    The ACT Government has given the green light to build the Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline and buy water from Tantangara Reservoir improving Canberra’s water security for many years to come, Environment, Climate Change and Water Minister, Simon Corbell, announced today.

    Mr Corbell said the Government had made a decision this week enabling ACTEW to begin construction of the pump station and pipeline from Murrumbidgee, near Angle Crossing, to Googong Dam next year and to buy water from Tantangara when required.

    “These projects are in addition to the Government’s previous decision to enlarge the Cotter Dam. In these tough times, with an ongoing drought resulting in below average-level rainfall, it is essential the Government acts now to ensure adequate supply down the track,” he said

    Mr Corbell said the Government had also decided to defer a project to build a pilot water purification plant.

    “The Government has accepted ACTEW’s advice that the proposed water recycling project is feasible but can be deferred if the expanded Cotter Dam and Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline project proceed,” he said.

ACTEW have declared that they’re very happy with the announcement.

UPDATED: Simon Corbell has seen fit to rebut claims that there’s not enough water in Tantangara to make this work:

    “Currently the Tantangara Reservoir is at 6.2 per cent of its 254Gl capacity which is approximately 16Gl of water, but this is at the driest time of the seasonal cycle. The low seasonal level is dictatedby the level of the off-take pipe to Eucumbene Dam.”

    “The average annual intake to Tantangara is 301Gl. Spring traditionally sees an increase of inflows for the reservoir, following snow melt and increased rainfall. It is the seasonal flow that makes Tantangara reliable” Mr Corbell said.

Bear in mind a lot of the naysayers have a commercial interest in the criminally under-priced agricultural water which this scheme takes steps towards rectifying.

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ACT water supply plans
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ricketyclik 10:27 am 23 Jul 09

peterh said :

johnboy said :

The point remains that the snowy scheme has *relatively* large amounts of water, which it sells for miniscule fractions of the cost of municipal water.

We can afford to outbid the farmers downstream and buy the water to wash our cars.

If this encourages rational water pricing in the interior then it is a positive benefit to the nation.

exactly. The other point to make is that the wastage from the flows into the MDB could easily be managed by a system whereby our flows from the treatment works and other inflows – stormwater etc could be redirected into the murrumbidgee, traveling down to nsw /vic / sa and providing water for sunrice, and other crops, whereas the extremely clean and pure snowy water which is highly potable could be used in the canberra drinking water supply.

No redirection needed – that’s where it goes right now. The only things preventing it are expensive reuse and stormwater harvesting schemes, eg, household rainwater tanks and greywater reuse diverting water on to lawns from stormwater pipes and sewers.

welkin31 8:52 am 28 Mar 09

We consumers are paying bigtime for the 5 years plus and counting delays in building another dam. Paying $100 Mill (plus overruns) for the Googong pipeline seems expensive to gain an annual average 9 GL.

Digga 8:12 am 28 Mar 09

Yes, stop pushing the ACT population towards half a million. You morons (the planners & pollies, not my fellow Rioters).

smokey4 11:13 pm 27 Mar 09

All I can say is good luck however it is a bit like having your thumb in a leaky dyke. As soon as you fix one bit another problem will open up.

Remember we do not own water, we only get to manage it prior to passing it on. Continually building new houses requires more water. How many are currently planned?
Any water solution will only buy some time until the problem occurs again.

p1 10:58 pm 27 Mar 09

Tantagara is a fairly reliable source.

Exactly why it makes sense for Canberra to buy it.

The proposed Tennant Dam would catch the same water which the Tantangara-to-Googong scheme is going to be able to pump across to Googong for storage. Tennant would only be an advantage if Cotter and Googong were both full, and if that is the case, we wouldn’t be worried about the amount of water available.

The only thing that I see as an environmental issue is Tantangara releasing more water into the Murrumbidgee will mean flows (between Tantangara and the pipeline to Googong) will be higher then any time since Tantangara was built. The river isn’t used to that.

chewy14 1:21 pm 27 Mar 09

deye said :

I wonder if Simon has seen this

That reason that Tantagara is so low is because the water in it is currently used for hydro electricity generation.
Tantagara is a fairly reliable source.

johnboy 1:16 pm 27 Mar 09

Also the current cotter dam is constantly full, and indeed overflowing.

extending building a bigger dam there does seem to be a good option.

jakez 1:02 pm 27 Mar 09

johnboy said :

What’s unethical is urbans gardens dying so cotton farming multinationals can keep storing water in turkeynest dams for virtually free.

Some sane water pricing might just give us sane agriculture in the interior.

Indeed, however your road block is this:

caf 12:59 pm 27 Mar 09

Probably because the Cotter is a more productive catchment than the proposed Tennant. And it still doesn’t matter to the people downstream whether we take more from a local catchment or from Tantangara – the only people who lose out are the Snowy Scheme, who don’t get to generate hydroelectricity from that water. Which they get compensated for.

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