Sunday, 8 July 2007

Exotic schemes and the history of Clarence water diversion proposals

The following was listed in transcript section discussing proposals called "Exotic Schemes", adjacent to mention of towing icebergs to relieve water shortages.
Note that water diversion volume indicated is in the realm of phantasy and, bears a suspicious resemblance to the almost mythical water volume which is supposed to be 'wasted' by flowing out to sea.
The Clarence proposal mention herein is reported to have been enthusiastically received by John Howard when it was outlined.

"Exotic Schemes"
Schemes such as the Bradfield, Ord and Clarence River proposals require massive financing. Briefly, these schemes aim to redirect water from the source catchments to inland Australia and to transport the water over massive distances through the inland river systems or by pipeline or by combination thereof...............
The Clarence River scheme is the cheapest of the three at a potential cost of $2.5 billion. It would deliver up to 1,350 gigalitres into the upper reaches of the Darling River tributaries and hence be potentially available for use further downstream, including in South Australia. The 21 options study assumed that South Australia might negotiate up to 300 gigalitres of this water. The estimated cost of this water is about $1.15 per kilolitre................
Only the Clarence River scheme consistently includes the possibility of some water being made available to this State.
However, even if all these schemes were to go ahead and include water for South Australia, they may provide an additional 800 gigalitres. Why would we do this when we have more than that available already and no indications that this would be swamped by demand in the foreseeable future?
It is not just a matter of volume either. There are serious questions about the potential environmental impact on both the local resources from which the water would be sourced and the receiving waters. Witness the calls to restore environmental flows to the Snowy River. A Snowy Water Inquiry was recently established specifically to consider this question. Its recommendations are currently before the NSW and Victorian governments. This issue even seems to have had a significant bearing on the outcomes of the recent Victorian election."Shonfeldt,Claus,"Future Water Resources for South Australia",ASTE Focus No. 111, March/April 2000]

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