Category Archives: News and Views

Another exaggerated BoM Brisbane heat forecast – turns out a one day wonder

What is it with the BoM – so Brisbane has a humid and hot day last Tuesday – for heavens sake it is February – the ABC screams – Brisbane weather: Heat and humidity land six high school students in hospital – But then against the thrust of quotes from the BoM Wednesday dropped to 34.1 so the “searing heat” lasted one day –

and BoM has not yet worked out what it was Thursday – how is that possible? – Too busy yakking on phone to media? Working out their redundancies?
Bureau of Meteorology to axe staff from all regional stations except Cairns
Friday was said to be 29 and it turned out 27 – the record for a February day is over 41. Last month a similar exaggeration. BoM crying wolf again about heatwave in Queensland – turns out total flop – again

Senate to investigate Australia’s purchase of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

I mentioned this back on 3 Dec 2015 – submissions close 19 Feb 2016 and reporting date is 1 May 2016. Sounds like a tight schedule to me. David Archibald has a submission well worth reading. He also wrote a book late last year – Australia’s Defence – note link to very good pdf report comparing the F-35 to “competitors”. This is separate to David’s Senate submission.
F-35 Lockheed Martin – Saab who make the Gripen which David Archibald believes is a better choice for Australia.

Perth water utility pleads for more water – the solutions to Perth water problems are not hard to grasp

Perth media runs this story – Utility pleads for more water
I have written on this subject for more than a decade – here are just two landmark examples.
[1] There never was a rain shortage to justify seawater desalination for Perth’s water supply – Dec 2007 download my 200KB 3 page pdf “Perth water supply catchments rain report Nov 07” Still covers main issues.
[2] Ongoing decline in efficiency of Perth Dam catchments – reply from WA Minister – May 2013 – Read what I wrote to Minister Marmion and his reply – he could not contradict my point that catchment management would increase runoff to dams.

Updating to 2015 rainfall the 5 year average rain 2011-2014 is about 850mm. Below is the latest chart of Perth catchments rainfall May-Oct rainfall 1980-2015 which shows CE (Catchment Efficiency) plunging to under 2%.

What the West Australian Government (and Labor Opposition) should be doing in respect of Perth water supply policy.
1. Over-ride Green objections and manage catchments as they were in the mid 1990’s thus increasing dam inflows by an amount of water about equal to production from two desalination factories (=90 GL Per year). See graphic of declining catchment yields above. Thinning of catchment bush can be done by experts with negligible adverse effects on wildlife values. Download 1 page pdf with chart showing results of thinning the Higgins catchment near Dwellingup – from 2005 Water Corporation report.
2. Cut the Gnangara pines forthwith – the value of the trees is way less than the value of the water they are suppressing. Sell the lumber and use the land for well planned urban areas – make a huge profit from well planned new suburbs and increase underground water pumping potential by about 100 GL per year, (UWA figures from 2002). Let both mounds recover over the decades ahead. GoogleEarth images show that between 2004 and 2015 significant areas of the pines have been cleared – that will assist recharge of the Gnangara mound underground water.
3. Abandon the risky plans to pump treated waste water into your precious shallow aquifers.
4. Take on board the Agritech proposal to desalinate brackish Wellington dam water but examine augmenting it to 100 GL per year by adding similar brackish water from the Murray or Avon where hundreds of GL flow to the sea every year.
5. After seeing the benefits from 1, 2, 3 & 4 above, progressively mothball both seawater desalination factories and save taxpayers mega $’s’.
6. Engage an expert US group to trial cloud seeding for a few run-off seasons – the cost is low compared to the large value of any incremental water in dams.
7. Stop lying to the public about rainfall – let the slogan “Our drying climate”pass into history where it belongs. Instruct Water Corporation to quote catchments rainfall on their www pages and NOT Perth rainfall which does not run into dams.
8. Instruct Water Corporation to get on with their job of harvesting available falling-from-the-sky-free natural water at the lowest cost possible for the benefit of the Perth and WA public.
9. If CE (Catchment Efficiency) was increased to 5.6% – hypothetically the 19 years 1997 to 2015 would have produced an extra 64GL each year on average – taking out the 4 poor years, 2001-2006-2010-2015.
If you take the last group of good years 2011-2014 incl. the loss is worse and 116GL PA is being lost. Now what is the value of this lost water? Is it near a $Billion PA?

Perth water utility pleads for more water yet our Governments can not reliably collect rain data

Perth media says – Utility pleads for more water – yet as this table of monthly rain data for Collie 9628 shows, there are several years since 2002 with missing months data. The record was perfect from 1901 to 2001 through world wars and depressions.

Then our modern Govts fail in recording such vital data for the nation. Amazing failure – see Mundaring Weir 9031 too – who cares – it is only free water from the sky that could run into dams already paid for – why bother to measure that – so passe. We clever people are in “Our Drying Climate” now.
Collie rain has relevance to the Wellington Dam Water Recovery Project by AgritechSmartwater – saved by the Wayback Machine. Agritech are revitalising their campaign – but the WA Govt has blocked their proposals for a decade now.

95 homes lost at Yarloop – is it time for large water bombers to be managed by the RAAF ?

ABC news today WA bushfire tears through Yarloop; homes destroyed
Map: Yarloop 6218 pre fire – Ninety-five homes and buildings have been confirmed destroyed.

‘Thor’ Hercules C-130 aircraft, capable of dropping 15,000 litres of water, arrives in NSW ahead of bushfire season – 1 Sep 2015 carries 15metric tons
DC-10 “Southern Belle” 43,900 litres carries 43.9metric tons – also in NSW
747 SuperTanker can carry 76 metric tons being refurbished in the USA.