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Cotter Dam to be made much bigger

By Ingeegoodbee 23 October 2007 20

Poohbah Stanhope has announced this morning that the ACT Government will massively increase the size of the Cotter Dam – from around 4 GL to around 78 GL. We are also going to be pumping water into Googong Dam and the weird one – a state of the art water purification plant to demonstrate worlds best practice water treatment – that will not be used for supplying Canberra … gee I hope those fish in the Murrumbidgee sure appreciate the effort!

[ED (Kramer) – Here is Comrade Stanhope’s media release and the ABC’s report.]

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Cotter Dam to be made much bigger
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Lord Mælinar 4:13 pm 25 Oct 07

You are right though – the slug in the works is the wee factory is going to be built under the guise of Cotter Dam improvement.

Anybody with a fetish for drinking wee should not be a parliamentary representative.

caf 3:57 pm 25 Oct 07

mojo: Actually, the Cotter Dam has access to 193 square kilometres of catchment that doesn’t feed the two higher dams. This provides 36 GL/yr of inflow that isn’t available to the other two dams. Currently much of that is lost from the system due to the Cotter’s small capacity.

Check this report out.

mojo filter 3:42 pm 25 Oct 07

Enlarging the Cotter Dam adds to our storage capacity but doesn’t add a single litre of inflow. The Cotter Dam is on a river that already has 2 other dams that arn’t full! Maybe if it does eventually rain they will all fill but as soon as the dry times come again the inflow will not be adequate to satisfy demand and we will be back on restrictions again as the dam levels drop. It will just take 18 months instead of 12. Now why has Stanhope done this? Could it be that he has gone for the Cotter solution because it fits with his real plan of pumping recycled sewage back into the water supply ….?

Lord Mælinar 8:19 am 25 Oct 07

JC – it falls on your roof, you capture it, you put it on your garden.

Alternative 2 – it falls on the ground, it finds its way to a catchment, it is piped to a water treatment facility, it is piped to a water tower, it is piped to your house, you put it on your garden.

Happy to lecture more, but do some maths and think about it a little…

Pandy 10:38 pm 24 Oct 07

Mr Hargraeves: $130 rate rise per 140,000 Canberra Households per year means it will take 15 years to pay for the $260 million to be spent on water.

So if a project costs 1 billion to build over say 5 years that means my rates will rise by what $400 to $500 per year ON TOP of the $130 that you will slug us for water?

JC 4:30 pm 24 Oct 07

Lord, how do you work that out. The way I see it, it falls on my roof, it goes into the drain and ends up in the river system somewhere. If I install a tank, it goes onto my lawn or garden and doesn’t end up futher down stream, instead gets evaporated as it is a smaller body of water than the river.

Your theory would be correct if people were replacing their ACTEW supply soley with tanks but they aren’t, they are supplimenting it. Sure they may be drawing less but I would doubt the amount would be less than what the are catching in tanks, so end result is less downstream.

caf 9:19 am 24 Oct 07

(which is why the Angle Crossing Murrumbidgee-to-Googong pipeline is also being built).

caf 9:19 am 24 Oct 07

Yes, if you read the Future Water Options reports, it was pretty clear that the new Cotter Dam was a no-brainer. The report does make clear that it won’t be enough on its own, though.

Ingeegoodbee 9:17 am 24 Oct 07

Thumper, I suspect that some of the delay may have been associated with background work and preliminary assessments – There’s been a lot of that happening in relation to the Cotter component over the past six months.

Thumper 8:24 am 24 Oct 07

For all sonic’s bleatings about carbon neutral hippie tree hugging global warming shit, which as pointed out, is going to exacerbated by the construction itself, this is the first sane step forward in increasing water infrastructure and water supply for the ACT that we have seen since the building of the previous dams.

A good start towards providing the basics needed by a society, ie, water.

Interesting that he’s taken so long to announce it even though runours of this have been around for quite a while now.

Lord Mælinar 8:07 am 24 Oct 07

JC – take that back!

Stormwater diversion offsets a whole heap of potable water consumption – I forget the figure but the ratio is something like 2:1. That means that by employing sw diversion (ie by installing tanks), extraction rates from existing water supplies is reduced twofold for every part of water diverted (pardoning my errant sentence structure).

Installing tanks will INCREASE the amount of enviro flow.

JC 2:54 am 24 Oct 07

Not quite, that is 20 times the capacity in what is the smallest dam we have. It takes it up to the size of Corin, but will still be about 2/5ths the size of Googong.

So total capacity will go to:
Googong: 121GL
Cotter: 78GL
Corin: 71GL
Bendora: 11GL
Total: 281GL. Total now, 207, so increase of around 1/3rd. Better than nothing.

The problem though is to Googong we must draw from the Murrumbidgee system, so maybe that is why we have the purfication system to put back what we take out to keep the whole system running properly. That is the big problem with dams, what ever we take someone else misses out on, one reason why I dislike storage tanks at home. That water does end up somewhere.

bd84 8:32 pm 23 Oct 07

it will mean we will have to go to level 60 water restrictions of course our dam levels will be critical levels 0.02% of capacity.

20 times the capacity means 20 times the restrictions yes? they better hope it rains ey

b2 6:42 pm 23 Oct 07

still what’s the point of building a massive dam, when our rainfall is becoming so erratic?

barking toad 4:44 pm 23 Oct 07

The ‘voluntary off-setting of greenhouse gases’ is just a sop to the hippies and will just add more unnecessary costs, including the carbon off-set calculation by the union friendly consultant.

About as effective as a fart to stop a cyclone.

Ingeegoodbee 3:58 pm 23 Oct 07

I suspect that “carbon offset” is just spin for “we’re expecting one hell of an algal bloom once this sucker is up and running”

Lord Mælinar 3:50 pm 23 Oct 07

FFS you forgot to add in the carbon offset of the photosynthesis of the plants that are currently in the future water region of the dam too.

Carbon count those calories pedant.

p1 3:31 pm 23 Oct 07

Mr Stanhope said water security was inextricably linked to future climate conditions and it was important to ensure that the ‘solutions’ pursued did not exacerbate the effects of climate change. The Government had therefore agreed to voluntarily offset additional greenhouse gas emissions associated with the operation of all water security projects.

What about the carbon emissions associated with the construction of the projects themselves? The amount of cement in a damn that big will release quite a few tonnes… Not to mention all the emissions released by vehicles involved.

Skidbladnir 3:19 pm 23 Oct 07

Surely the “other than for drinking and demo purposes” comment is Govt doubletalk for “This water is -currently- not legal to drink in the ATC, but once we have the capacity and there is sufficient pressure, we can -revise our stance-…

Which would sound like typical Standard-hopeless policy & practice, except for the fact that this one seems to have a planning horizon for more than “Next Budget\Election”…

Does Standard-hopeless have an up-and-coming mandarin\myrmidon pitching his policy ideas for him now?

@Barking toad: Agreed, point number 8 is quite ridiculous, though.

barking toad 1:53 pm 23 Oct 07

The press release sounded to good to be true then I reached point 8 in the measures where the usual sacrifice is to made on the altar of gorebull warmening to make the project ‘carbon neutral’.

Which, of course, will just add to the costs and make fark all difference to local or global climate. It will give increased levels of smugness though.

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