Tuesday, 25 January 2011

It's more pipelines, bigger dams and inter-basin water transfers

The Inquiry into the impact of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in Regional Australia is being offered a wide range of options to ensure sustainable Murray-Darling Basin river systems.

Few of which admit to any need to limit current water consumption by reducing diversion caps and, some follow that tired old route of more pipelines, bigger dams and inter-basin water transfers.

Here are a few examples.

One option put forward by Wakool Shire Council in its submission:

Look at alternative supply for productive use – i.e.pipeline from river systems to high value use.

Another viewpoint from Lodden Shire Council:

The Authority should also consider the construction of environmental dams in key sites to store significant volumes of water devoted purely to environmental benefits. The cost of such infrastructure projects could be borne by all Australians or at least by those who will receive a direct benefit from the health of the Murray Darling Basin.

Carrathool Shire Council offered this:

New infrastructure projects, including additional and/or expanded water storages……….

Harvesting and redirecting surplus water resources from northern Australia.

While Hay Shire Council complained:

There is no possibility of any harvesting of additional water for the environment by the construction of additional dams or further investigation of diversion schemes. Such water would be harvested in wet periods such as we are now experiencing to be used in providing environmental flows as required in drier seasons. Why as a country are we not investigating this alternative?

Leeton Shire Council put forward these 'solutions':

Harvesting and re-directing surplus water resources form northern Australia and the eastern seaboard in Queensland and New South Wales;………

New infrastructure projects, including additional and /or expanded water storages, for example a new storage at Wellington in South Australia, or expansion of storages such as Lake Buffalo and Lake William Hovell in north east Victoria.

The Citizens Electoral Council informed the Inquiry that:

The proposed Clarence River Scheme would add upwards of 1,000 Gl/y of reliable flows into the MurrayDarling Basin, which would transform the Basin's productive power.

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