17 April 2007

More water restrictions proposed for more thorough breaching

| johnboy
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The Canberra Times informs us that water storage is plummetting and water use targets are blowing out as more and more Canberrans tire of the many years of watching their gardens wither under the restrictions.

The solution proposed is still more comprehensive water restrictions which will, we imagine, be even more comprehensively flouted.

Thankfully some sanity seems to have been restored on the usefulness of rainwater tanks compared to municipal water supplies:

“Mr Stanhope said that, broadly, the cost of rainwater tanks to provide a substitutable amount of water were significantly higher than central provision of water via a dam and reticulation system.

For example, an expanded Cotter dam would cost about $150million for 78 gigalitres, but 110,000 rainwater tanks on all possible ACT residences would cost in Actew’s view about $2billion for about 11 gigalitres.

Score one for civilisation.

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In the interests of balance, here’s another link, this one to Michael Costello’s response, where he says that since the refurbishment of the Cotter Pumping Station environmental flows have been at the level of 2GL/year.

Good link S4anta- same sanity in the debate. Do you all see the propaganda machine kicking in? Water levels were low yesterday, and the day before, but I think Stanhope et al are a bit worried about the many level-headed and scientific critiques of their poo water plan.

Why can’t we just withhold a little of the environmental flows of water (that is collected for the ACT anyway)? I do NOT want poo water, and can’t afford all that bottled water.

If you want to tell them what you think, here’s the link:

Note: they have not made it obvious this is where SUBMISSIONS should be sent, but I was advised (when I emailed) that this was it. Seems a bit low-key . . . and its name is meaningless (water2water).

Stanhope believes in the good fairy if he thinks after a dry winter that he will get water released from Lake Eucumbene or the Murumbidgee. A little bit like M Turnbull and little Johnny throwing money at the water problem, buying up some phantom water rights and saying its solved.

that was before I heard of the Victorian conspiracy, and the ACT govt knows you’ve got a tank because you’ve applied for a rebate for it, eitehr that or they’ll use google earth to spot it in your yard like the Queanbeyan City Council did for swimming pools

yeah – lets all goto Goulburn, where theyve been in the urine drinking stage of water restrictions for some time

It will get to the point where people vote with their feet and just leave town.

didnt seem to stop you putting in a tank Che.

James-T-Kirk11:20 am 17 Apr 07

Noooo —

We don’t need rainwater tanks… We need URBAN INFILL. — Lets put another couple of thousand houses in, without increasing our ability to provide water. That will fix the problem.

Perhaps the pollies are stupid – so lets use some simple maths.

Take an environment where there are 100,000 houses, where they use 110% of the available water (so storage is going backwards). Then, lets build more suburbs, and add a bit of urban infill – Adding, say 20,000 houses to the mix. Can somebody tell me where the extra water for these new people is coming from?

I also fail to see the argument touted in the ‘Tralee’ ™ adds on the radio, where they will use recycling to enable them to have green spaces – Thereby ‘reducing the demand on the water supply’. Looks like any environment where we ADD EXTRA HOUSES, will increase demand.. Gosh – Thats marketing at work..????

But, gosh, with election cycles every couple of years, and the govmit propping up the local bus company, and fighting teachers for a 1% wage rise, it is unlikely we will ever get a change to our storage capacity.

its all a trap people, first he’ll encourage you to get a tank and then he’ll tax you for having a tank saying that you’re stealing govt water that should be going into the storm water drain (see Victoria)

“hundred thousand gigalitres or so in Lake Burley -Griffin, lake Gindinderra”

Um I think you have overestimated the size of these lakes by let me see maybe 100,000 times.

Stanhope bagging the report released yesterday that outlines why it can be cost-effective to 100% subsidise tank retrofits is on a par with Howard bagging out the credibility of Howard Stern’s report.

And Deano’s maths make a telling story.

Add to this that many homes already have tanks, many would not have space appropriate to fit more than say a 2000 litre tank.
So let’s assume that maybe 50,000 houses had space for something like a 9000 litre tank – at 2.4m h x 2.4m diameter, these tanks are listed at http://www.enviro-friendly.com/tankmasta-water-tanks.shtml#9000 as being $1740 list price. So say $3000 installed that’s about $150M for 450,000,000 litres, but they refill quickly and no treatment or pumping expenses are required.

Now that’s working on 100% subsidy. Reality is many people would proceed on 50% of that, given what has happened to our gardens, and therefore halving the cost or maybe leading to much bigger tanks – especially on all those older 800sq/m or bigger blocks with space to burn.

The problem I have is that people fall into the economist’s trap of only seeing solutions in large scale projects. The problems are sums of many incremental decisions, and incremental solutions can play a legitimate part in reversing the problem.

neanderthalsis10:14 am 17 Apr 07

I’m sure that if things got worse, we could find another hundred thousand gigalitres or so in Lake Burley -Griffin, lake Gindinderra and the other muddy puddles dotted about the town. A pumping station and treatment plant lakeside would be cheaper than a new dam.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt10:13 am 17 Apr 07

And once I have my own tank in, noone gets to tell me what to do with the water I’ve collected.

Presumably there is also some difference in the amount of rain received at, say, Corin Dam, compared to Canberra suburbs?

A quick look at some statistics on the BOM site comparing rainfall in Tuggeranong to rainfall at Mt Ginini, which is close to Corin Dam:

Tuggeranong: 29mm, 101mm, 60mm, 8mm
Mt Ginini: 81mm, 103mm, 26mm, 7mm

Maybe not.

He may well be right about relative pricing, but unless they actually get on with it and build the Cotter upgrade, it’s pretty much just an academic exercise. I can’t control that, but I can get a tank slapped down next to my house in the relatively short term (how long it might take to fill is, of course, another matter entirely).

110,000 rainwater tanks on all possible ACT residences would cost in Actew’s view about $2billion for about 11 gigalitres

Where can I get the contract to supply these tanks! 110,000 tanks for $2billion works out at $18,000 each! Mind you, to get 11 gigalitres each tank needs to be 100,000 litres in size – not exactly practical for the average backyard.

In any case, it won’t make a lick of difference if it doesn’t rain.

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