Friday, 19 October 2007

Are those water raiders at it again?

Tenterfield Shire Council supports diversion of Clarence River catchment water into north-west NSW via the western fall of the Murray Darling river system.

Last year Council declared itself ready to immediately begin construction of a dam on the Mole River. A dam on this river features as a preferred option in some schemes to divert Clarence freshwater inland.

On 18 October 2007 Tenterfield Shire Council announced that it is again going to ask government to consider a dam on the Mole River [Channel 7,News,18 October 2007].

Although this announcement doesn't specifically mention the Clarence, the annual gigalitres quoted by Council as available from such a dam are remarkably similar to volumes previously cited in relation to schemes for a Mole dam receiving water from the Clarence River catchment area.

This latest lobbying by Tenterfield Shire Council may be an attempt to create in principle support for a Mole River dam, with the expectation that the push to fill it from the Clarence River system will come later.

I note that although the unregulated flow from the upper Mole River currently dilutes arsenic contamination from a large old mine within its catchment, as late as last year iron and nickel contamination in river water was still so high that it would not be recommended for crop irrigation, stock water or human consumption.

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