Perth two-day summer roster in peril

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Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby commentking » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:14 pm

We in the west may need the Waterwise plants in previous post sooner than we thought ...
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby brill » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:25 am

Brisbane has been through that. We weren't allowed to water at all, or use the hose in any way (including wash cars). We survived and so will you. With the sandy soil you have in WA water wise plants are 'common sense' (sorry if I sound blaize or arrogant). WA has some of the most beautiful native plants in Australia do many people have them in their gardens?
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:16 pm

Hi commentking :D

Done and used correctly, reticulation can be the most efficient water consumption method of watering gardens. I guess unfortunatley, a lot of people pointedly don't use their reticulation correctly and many overwater which not only wastes our precious (and diminishing) water resource, but causes all sorts of problems for the plants, including the encouragement of shallow root growth, stem rot etc. Of course I'm certainly not suggesting you don't use your retic properly, but, unfortunately a lot do.

Like all things, it's a shame the bad, lazy and ignorant spoil it for the good responsible folks.

Many folks I know seem to think water is an inexhaustable resource, when in fact of course, it's not. Especiallyu with an increasing and higher density Perth population drawing more water. I worked for the Water Corporation (and it's predessors) for quite a few years and folks thought sinking a bore down to their local acquifer was the answer. Sadly, greater draw rates have increasingly exceeded the rainfall replenishment rate and some acquifers have actually either dried up or become unusable (for various reasons).

I guess in the ideal world, there would be some magical way of monitoring people's use of reticulation and allowing the responsible ones to continue using them, but alas, there isn't such a solution.

Spare a thought for those that are not on scheme water and the water table level prohibits bores. These poor folks have to pay for water cartage which in comparison to scheme water rates is much more costly. I know, I have a standpipe down the road from us and thats used constantly, sometimes even in winter.

I don't envy those Watercorp employees (if indeed there is more than one) that monitor, warn and fine folks. I'd imagine that job would be as popular as Speed Camera operators :lol:
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby Honeyeaterg » Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:30 pm

unfortunately in Perth there are still too many people wasting water on silly things like large lawn areas. many people ARE responsible but since our dam levels have been declining for the last 10 years when restrictions first came in some people STILL do not realise that using less water is not optional anymore, it MUST be done. we are on two sprinkler days a week (and trust me on Perth's sandy soil that drains quickly, that will not keep water intensive plants happy in a lot of cases), but hand watering is not restricted.

now I do hand water pot plants or plants that are really struggling with the heat, but when winter comes along I will transplant those strugglers to another position, if they still can't make it on two days a week, I let them go to plant heaven and plant something else. But if I drive down my street, about 70% of verges are dead (including mine), but there are still about 30% of my neighbours wasting water to keep green lush carpets of lawn going in this area - they have no clue how bad things are, or they just don't care. I see the same people hand watering this lawn area every day over summer. The water authority IMO, needs to ban anyone from watering a verge lawn, it's not needed for kids to play on or for pets to run around on, it's just for looks only and is an affront to all those people who already realise this. I think this step alone would save an amazing amount of water in Perth. I have nothing against lawn areas if they serve a purpose but there has to be a point where non necessary lawn areas like verges are not allowed. Yep people would have to get more creative, plant some natives that will sustain wildlife, or just leave them barren, but we just can't keep going this way and it is unfair to tighten up sprinkler days when this type of wasteful hand watering is still going on around us
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:32 am

I could not agree more Honeyeaterg with everything you have posted.

We have 2,000 sqm down here, 350 Ks south of Perth and, until last year, most of it was lawn. A legacy from a very unplanned garden structure from the previous owners.

Though we weren't on the 2 day a week sprinker watering regime, we never watered the lawn in summer and let it come back in winter. We now have killed most of our lawn in readiness for alternative planting, including a large vegy patch. This not only removed the lawn, but will allow us to be self sustainable with vegys that we will know doesn't contain nasty chemicals and GMs for colour, appearance and travelling - but little taste.

Unless you've lived under a rock for the last 10 years, you have only needed to watch one garden show on watering to know that it's actually delitarious to your plants (and lawn) to water every day because it encourages shallow root growth and therefore water dependency.

I think local councils could play a larger part in encouraging ratepayers and other residents within their juristictions to look at verge lawn alternatives.

Believe me when I say that I have it from a VERY authoritative source that the 5 year prognosis for Perth, the South West and the Great Southern's water sustainability is VERY dire indeed!

The WA Govt also needs to do more and NOW, not when they have to. I can't see a lot of planning going into remedying the situation. We can't build more dams, and even if we did, there would still be far too little water catchment (as there is already). Compounding this is the severe drop in aquifer resources as alarmingly and not uniquely evidenced by the Bibra Lake and North Lake (south of Perth for those of you outside WA) that have now dried up. For years, the nomenclative predecessors of the (now) Water Corporation allowed an increasingly dense (and you can take the pejorative meaning of that also!) population to draw water unfettered and unmetered from bores.

For my money, it's a no brainer as to the solution for bring more water "on-stream". The answer is desalination plants (DSPs). It's not as if we don't have the coastline access. But! The lead time for a DSP is, I believe, around 5 years and, even if we start now, it appears that it will be touch and go!
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby Pam » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:15 am

Bibra Lake has dried up? That's very sad. I remember some great picnics there.

For too many years too many over that way saw the underground water as a never-ending resource, and there still seems to be those who use it to excess, giving little thought to the consequences.
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:58 am

Yes Pam, apparently it has. Was talking to Mum yesterday and she visited relatives nearby and advised that it had. Was the same, used to live in Coolbellup as a youngster and spent many hours around there. Sad indeed!
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby taffyman » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:39 pm

Colin, you have all the water Perth would need for a very long time - It's called Lake Argyle (Ord river scheme).

Lake Argyle is Australia's largest body of freshwater covering over 900 square kilometers at normal full supply level with a flood capacity in excess of 2000 square kilometers.(ref: http://www.lakeargyle.com/
.

While I was living and working in the Pilbara, the idea was to run a pipeline down to Perth and possibly another across to Adelaide. So what happened? They decided it was too expensive. Balony!!! The North West Gas project laid a pipeline down through WA, so it's only an extension on that distance. It took 12 months and six days from the first pipe to be welded, to delivering gas to Kalgoorlie (and that is a pressurize pipeline). There is no need for Desalination Plants. Add up the cost of enough Desal plants to supply enough water for everyone and I reckon it would come close to the cost of running a pipeline from Lake Argyle.

Blame your Politicians - they are the ones that have failed the people of Western Australia:

Up to that time, the big pipeline proposal for Western Australia was the Kimberley Water Pipeline. This $9 billion proposal was promoted by the then Labor Government Minister for Water Resources, Ernie Bridge. It involved transporting water from the Kimberleys nearly 4,000 km by pipeline to Perth and South Australia.
After receiving advice from the Kimberley Water Board the Coalition Minister for Resources Development and Energy Colin Barnett killed Bridge’s water pipeline proposal.
(ref: http://pipeliner.com.au/news/the_goldfields_gas_pipeline/001232/


I'm not having a go at you Colin. If some politician had the foresight and the intestinal fortitude back when Lake Argyle was created, you'd have had the water before 1980. Now, it's all doom and gloom about the lack of water. Water is the most essential necessity to life - cost of delivering it shouldn't be a factor. As is very common these days, politicians have failed the people they are supposed to represent - and you people are suffering - and will suffer even further for their incompetence in planning for the future.

The Kalgoorlie pipeline was constructed because someone had the guts to say 'Yes' and get it done. Compared to a pipeline from Lake Argyle, it is only a relatively short pipeline, but they didn't have the technology or equipment available to us today.

If the WA people got together and started a campaign - and bombarded their politicians with demands that the pipeline be constructed, you could enjoy what you should have had back in 1980 - and it would have cost a lot less than it will cost now.

Sorry for the 'rant' people, but I see this as another case of people with their snouts in the trough failing the very people paying their grossly inflated salaries and getting nothing in return. It shouldn't happen, and it's about time they got it through their thick heads.
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:49 pm

Good input Taffy, and no, no go at me interpretted, but thanks for making that clear. :D

From the same authorative source that I received the dire prognosis from, there was apparently considerably and prohibitive cost in such a pipeline - and that was after exhaustive costing and pump requirement studies. The idea that Barnett had as to a canal was canned due to the sheer amount of water loss through evaporation. Obviously the huge difference from Perth to Lake Argyle and Kalgoorlie (3,276 vs 595) would play their part Taffy.

But I agree certainly that politicians have sat on their rear ends for far too long and action should have happened ages ago.
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby taffyman » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:08 pm

I can understand what you're saying about the cost of such a pipeline Colin - but when it comes to supplying water, the cost really shouldn't be a consideration. Without water we die - we can go without food for a while, but not water. If the WA government can't come up with the whole cost then the Federal Government should foot the shortfall.

How much money do the relevant governments waste per annum on frivolous and totally unnecessary projects - how much has the Federal Government wasted via the Labour party in the last three or four years alone? What is the 'National Broadband Network' going to cost - $47 billion? It will most likely exceed that figure - most government funded projects do. That would be a handy amount to kick off a pipeline wouldn't it? Water is needed a whole lot more than a fibre optic cable that may - or may not deliver what is being promised.

I guess being a Sandgroper, you'd know of projects that the WA government have wasted millions - if not billions on over the last 30 years or so. If politicians ran businesses like they operate in government, they'd go bankrupt and be on the dole queue in a very short time.
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:12 pm

Yes, Taffy, on the first paragraph I totally agree - I guess the reluctance (infatructure costs notwithstanding) is the ethos that comes from the tenure of elected governments. The solution (and costing) extends way beyond that tenure and, until the vast populace turn on a tap and no water appears, it's hard to sell the benefits, let alone the need for expending so much on (what is) necessary infastructure.

On the NBN network, I'll start a seperate thread Taffy. Thread http://www.gardenexpress.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=17239 refers.
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby Honeyeaterg » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:45 pm

I doubt if the pipeline or canal from the north west will ever go ahead, it sounds easy enough but it would be a huge project that would take years to build and a great deal of money. Colin barnett asked the fed govt for financial assistance with it last time he was premier and was turned down (when howard was in govt). The real kicker about expensive projects like this is that WA mining provides the federal govt with so much money from royalties but when WA is in need of special projects (which can be incredibly expensive because of the huge distances involved) we do get left out to dry (excuse the pun) by the fed govt. We just never seem to rank very highly in the fed govt priorities and I think historically it always has been this way for WA, we're so far away and don't have a huge population considering the size of our state so it just seems easy to ignore us. I think states like wa and qld that add a lot of money to the fed coffers and do have unique problems building infrastructure deserve something back so it's all good and well to say we should put pressure on the state govt but expensive projects like this really need fed input of money to happen. just my 2c

"The Kalgoorlie pipeline was constructed because someone had the guts to say 'Yes' and get it done. "

I disagree with that, I think the kalgoorlie pipeline happened because it was close enough to perth and more importantly, without water they wouldnt have been able to do serious mining in Kalgoorlie.. When it comes to things like mining the money will always be found by govts because they know there is money to be made in it for themselves. That may sound cynical but having cash cows like this (mining) are very attractive for govts.
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:55 pm

I certainly think you are right honeyeaterg on WA being low on the had out order - it would seem by any federal govt that is in power Coalition or Labour. Presumably, when Colin Barnett floated (also no pun intended :lol: ) the idea of a canal or pipeline from the North West, the appropriate Govt Depart would have undertaken a feasability study which would have included a cost analysis. More than likely, this would have been done (or certainly largely involved) the Water Corporation. I'd love to get my hands on that! As you say though, the cost would have been massive. IMHO, I still think the answer lies with DeSal Plants.
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby Honeyeaterg » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:14 pm

Yes I don't think this is attitude towards wa is coalition or labour specific either. I'm not even sure if a cost analysis was even done at that time, it did seem like Howard just turned it down pretty quick (although Im not a politician so maybe they did look at it seriously) but it almost seemed like we were the poor cousins asking for a handout. Im seem to remember some time later Howard did float the idea of bringing a pipeline from the north west across through SA to NSW which seemed like a total slap in the face to WA. anyway, I dont want too political here :lol: but I don't know what the answer is. I think Perth may have reached it's population limit and all the clearing and new housing developments that have taken place over the last decade can't be helping because the more land we clear to make Perth larger, the more it affects rainfall and temperatures
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:22 pm

Yup, and the greater draw of water from Dams and Aquifers.
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby taffyman » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:03 pm

I disagree with that, I think the kalgoorlie pipeline happened because it was close enough to perth


Don't really agree with that. 600km back when they built that pipeline would be like building 6000km in this day and age. Virtually everything was done by hand back in 1890's. No excavators, no electric welders, rudimentary joints between pipes, no Semi trailers or B-doubles to carry large loads - the list goes on.

I do agree with you on WA being the 'forgotten land'. Howard refusing the funds for WA/SA pipeline but considering one for SA/NSW shows that. That's hypocracy - considering money for a pipeline to the eastern states, but nothing for WA. Even back when I was living in WA, that feeling of being forgotten was always present. The eastern states appeared to see WA as a totally different country. They forgot (or didn't realize) that back in the 70/80's the Iron Ore companies were responsible for 30% of Australia's total exports. It might have been only one product - Iron Ore, but that figure is huge.

Hey guys, I'm sure not trying to bucket WA. After spending my first 14 years in Oz - 10 in the Pilbara and another 4 in Perth, I have a real soft spot for the state. If I'd had my way when we retired from the RAAF, I would have gone back to WA in a heartbeat in preference to any other state - and it would have been somewhere down round the Mt Barker region!

Population growth is something that will never be stopped - no matter what the drain on resources is. How many times has it been said: 'You can't stop progress'. Yes, you can - but not as long as developers etc have governments in their pockets, and huge amounts of money are thrown at people to have children etc.

The whole point is that you people need a reliable water source - and you need it now. By the time there are enough Desal plants for WA's needs, I would suggest a pipeline from Lake Argyle would firstly be a more reliable source, maintenance costs should be lower, and it could possibly be constructed in a similar time-frame to getting enough Desal plants for the the areas of WA that need water.

Just had a thought. What about all the inland towns - where will their water come from, Desal plants 500+km away? The cost of the plants and then transporting the water all round the state where it will be needed is going to end up prohibitively expensive. How much do you people pay for water per kilolitre now?
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:09 pm

Hi Taffy

Don't really agree with that. 600km back when they built that pipeline would be like building 6000km in this day and age. Virtually everything was done by hand back in 1890's. No excavators, no electric welders, rudimentary joints between pipes, no Semi trailers or B-doubles to carry large loads - the list goes on.


A good and interesting point! But a complex comparison given the comparative issues, technology, work force conditions enhancements and conditions, machinery vs (historical) labour application and costs etc. I'd imagine that the compartive feasability study, even in it's abreviated forum could fill a tertiary thesis! :D

The whole point is that you people need a reliable water source - and you need it now. By the time there are enough Desal plants for WA's needs, I would suggest a pipeline from Lake Argyle would firstly be a more reliable source, maintenance costs should be lower, and it could possibly be constructed in a similar time-frame to getting enough Desal plants for the the areas of WA that need water.

Just had a thought. What about all the inland towns - where will their water come from, Desal plants 500+km away? The cost of the plants and then transporting the water all round the state where it will be needed is going to end up prohibitively expensive. How much do you people pay for water per kilolitre now?


Yes certainly Taffy we DO need water now, agreed! IF we just tragetted De-Sals for Perth and Coastal towns, the cost and lead time, I think would be cheaper. But, you are right, we have to service Country Towns. Whether we go De-Sals or Pipe, we would still be feeding Perth as a core distribution point for referal of water outwards. So; for my money, DeSal Plants is still the way to go.

As to what we (in WA) pay? It's on a user pays escalated scale:

First 150KL = $0.982/Kl
Next 150 Kl = $1.237/Kl
Next 50Kl = $2.028/Kl
Next 100Kl = $2.342/Kl
Next 200Kl = $3.891/Kl
Next 200Kl = $4.447/Kl
Next 200Kl = 5.0440/Kl
Next 400Kl = 6.4080/Kl
Next 400Kl = 6.8520/Kl
Over 1950Kl = 7.2200/Kl
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby Honeyeaterg » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:19 pm

"hey guys, I'm sure not trying to bucket WA. After spending my first 14 years in Oz - 10 in the Pilbara and another 4 in Perth, I have a real soft spot for the state."

no what you say makes a lot of sense. The last 10 years here things have become much worse with a mining booming for a long time, and Perth's population has quickly increased so there's also been a very consistent housing boom, and while the fed govt gets richer, we just seem to have to suck it up and make do with dwindling resources that have to support more people. I feel what colinm's said "I guess the reluctance (infatructure costs notwithstanding) is the ethos that comes from the tenure of elected governments" is very true. govts don't look beyond their few years in office so they do have a very short sighted view of their obligations.

But I agree taffy that the ball has been dropped, watercorp just sat back and have done very little when they should have been doing much more long term plannning a long time ago. I personally dont like the idea of lots of desalination plants because of the environmental issues but it may be our only viable option because we'll need to get the water from somewhere and quick and cost effective solutions like this are just much more likely to get done
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Re: Perth two-day summer roster in peril

Postby ColinM » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:52 am

Yup, totally agree with Honeyeaterg. Taffy - also don't see you as bucketing WA mate (Y) . I also agree Honeyeaterg on your environmental concerns with De-Sal plants, but I can't see any other financial or political option. I'm not sure how you overcome the short sitedness of elected governments. I guess if they started building them now, any newly elected Govt would be compelled to finish the projects. One hopes! I still think that there are a lot of folks in WA who remain stuck to the notion that the supply of water is inexaustable and they have a right to use it. Somehow, if they pay taxes, water will magically appear. I think the Water Corp needs to stop stuffing around and get VERY heavy with those that waste water. Put much more resources into compliance checking and stop issuing warning notices - heavy fines are what is needed. We should also look at legislation that makes it mandatory for the under (house) pad installation of large rainwater tanks where new houses are constructed - subsidised by the State/Federal Government. Installation under the house pad would facilitate large tanks on even the smallest residential lot, without compromising on available space around the house.
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