18 July 2005

Dams almost at 50 per cent

| Kerces
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Our dams have gone up! And there was much rejoicing!

From the office of Stanhope:


Recent rains across the ACT and surrounding region have spelt good news for water levels in our catchment, with dam levels nudging 50%, ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today.

“Overall, our dams are now at 49.92 percent of capacity – that’s a big improvement on just a fortnight ago, when water storage levels stood at 44.7%,” Mr Stanhope said. “Rainfall throughout the catchment has resulted in an increase of 5.3% in total combined water storage.

“Building on the excellent rains of late June, the ACT has already recorded more than 80 millimetres — double the July average — so far this month.

“The rains have had a dual benefit. Not only are they gradually filling our dams, they have resulted in a significant drop in water consumption, especially by domestic users, right across the Territory.

“Since the rains arrived our daily consumption levels have been regularly down on our winter target of 111 megalitres a day.”

Since 28 June both the Cotter and Googong catchments have received more than 150 mm of rain, resulting in healthy boosts to all dam levels.

Mr Stanhope warned that while recent rains had been most welcome, they hadn’t been the drought-breaking falls the community had hoped for.

“Significant follow-up falls in the months ahead are needed, and it is important that Canberrans continue to be responsible in their water use and remember that Stage 2 water restrictions still apply,” Mr Stanhope said.

However, percentages are a nasty beast and I think he’s got his figures wrong. I make the increase from 44.7 per cent to 49.9 per cent to be an increase of 11.7 percent as well as one of 5 percentage points. Probably many people don’t know the difference although it is subtle but important. And 11 per cent sounds more impressive, so if they’d just looked at it again…

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I believe I’ve already posted somewhere here my humble opinion on the fact that the Govt are covering their asses bigtime by getting down on us residents as the badguys using up all the water on our gardens etc when in reality it’s small industry and primary producers sucking up all the resources.

JB has hit the nail on the head, the Govt have too much invested in telling the general populace that they are the badguys to do an about face.

I can imagine the headlines now:

“We were wrong – go ahead and wash your cars, water your gardens, have long showers. We’ll go hunt down the real wasters now”.

I believe you JB; however water restrictions realistically have very little to do with proper management of our waterways.

I also think the MLA’s just enjoy having the only clean cars in the town.

Bulldog, this government likes telling people what to do too much to give up water restrictions.

Sandbags are also for Religious Cults who wish to barricade themselves into small rooms and douse themselves with petrol

Another ex-grunt.

Sandbags are for grunts and chumps, I don’t blame you thumper.

Now, if we are getting more sky-juice in the dams what is the ACT Gov’t going to do to ensure that it is managed correctly? What will they do to fix their clusterf*ck at Googong? Is the Cotter and Corin suitable for human consumption yet?

Does anyone know for sure?

It’ll flood next
and we’ll all be rooned

Now we can have that aboretum we always wanted!

The Es-Sense4:53 am 19 Jul 05

Yoohoo…we can water our English lawns and grow more tropical plants or noxious weeds!

The figures Stanhope quoted were 49.92 and 44.7 per cent.

I may not have got the maths exactly right, but you do agree with me that the press release got it more wrong than me?


49.2 – 44.7 = 4.5

4.5/49.2*100 = 9.15% increase… I dunno where the 11% came from no matter how you twist it 🙂

More water = Good though! 😀

According to the graphs at http://www.actewagl.com.au/default.aspx?loc=/water/damCapacity.htm, Both Cotter and Bendora have been at 100% in the not very distant past. Even Corin got close (~90%) – it’s only Googong that would have a tough time making it that high…

Maybe the total level across all 4 is never at 100% – wouldn’t surprise me that much…

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, though – most people really don’t understand the difference, and would think the government blatant liars for claiming that 44.7% -> 49.2% is an 11% increase. Even if the person writing the release did know the difference, they probably figured it was better to pander to the statistics-illiterate masses.

…’Course, they could have made it correct by reprashing it along the lines of “an increase of 5.3% in terms of total potential capacity”…or something equally convoluted.

Don’t even get me started on other abuses of statistics by the government and media…

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