Category Archives: Water

Queensland Govt Australian rain history 1889-2017

The data driven Qld approach highlighting climate cycles contrasts starkly with WA Govt mantras never contradicted by the Perth BoM. WA Govt “watercrats” see SW WA rain in terms of “our drying climate”, “declining rainfall”, “rain has stopped falling” etc. and I am not aware the Perth BoM has ever spoken against this doomster view. Download the Queensland extended wet/dry period poster (1889-2017) (PDF) a foundation on which to learn more about Australian rainfall history.

BoM blind to Perth UHI reporting two cool summers for SW WA

The BoM is in contortions reporting the embarrassing news that Perth has had a second cool summer but the halt in warming can not be real says the ABC – so is it warming as usual? Not one word that the cool summers are in the face of the ever growing Perth urban heat island. The fact the summers have been wet gets a quick mention too but nobody mention the record floods. Perth has been subjected to over a decade of relentless Govt propaganda about “our drying climate” – “permanant drought” – “rain has stopped falling” – “run of dry winters”.

BoM misleads Senate Estimates about rainfall

From Hansard 20268 26Feb18
On page 11 – Senator URQUHART: What are the most authoritative climate change impacts for Australia’s regions?
Dr Johnson: We know that probably the most well-established trend is the drying trend in south-western Australia. We know that since 1970 that there has been a very significant drying trend in south-western Australia.
We know, and we are observing, that there is a drying trend in the south-east of Australia as well. For other parts of Australia, the signal is not as strong.

IMHO the BoM is stunningly misleading to say “For other parts of Australia, the signal is not as strong.”
A truthful statement would be along lines – “..for about half of Australia the 1970-2017 rainfall trend is increasing – getting wetter..”. To leave no doubt whatsoever you could say that from 1900-2017 the vast majority of Australia is getting wetter.
In view that the BoM choose exactly to inform Estimates about SW WA it was also less than fully honest to fail to mention that region has just seen two cool summers in a row.
Here is a 3rd instance where BoM could have informed Estimates better.
On top page 15 BoM says “Yes, it’s amazing the way that rainfall works in Australia. We’ve seen on a number of occasions, and Canberra being yesterday, that we can quickly go from below average over time to above average in about three hours.”

Instead of using silly unscientific words such as “amazing” perhaps a more rational organization might have pointed out to Estimates that Canberra and region experienced widespread floods exactly 6 years ago at the start of March 2012 when 179.6mm rain fell over 5 days.

No water shortage forced seawater desal on Perth

It is an often heard Australian opinion – somebody will say “Oh Eastern States desal plants have been a waste of taxpayers dollars but desal was essential for Perth”.
Not so!! Facts are that many cheaper actions could have been taken by the WA Govt in 2001 to find 150GL of water PA and avoid building the desalination plants. There never was a water shortage in Perth to make seawater desal imperative. Here are some of the actions that could have been taken as early as 2001 when the new Labor Govt made a big deal about one dry year. Both sides of politics should have argued the case with Greens that this package of measures had far less impact than energy intensive seawater desal. Premier Gallop and other politicians should not have woven a populist but dodgy story exaggerating rainfall decline.
Here is what could have been done in 2001.
[1] Get the best forestry advice and make a start managing catchment bush to increase dam inflows for subsequent years. 94GL flowed into dams in 2017 despite over 20 years of catchment bush growth. The yield was 3% and that could easily be doubled with sensible catchment management run by forestry experts. Wow the extra water = Binningup desal!!
[2] Cut the Gnangara Pines and sell the timber – the timber was nowhere near as valuable as the groundwater the pines were suppressing. Labor had some sacred plan for a plywood factory. Replant the reserves with native bush – improve the Gnangara Mound water resource – point out this expansion of native bush to Greens.
[3] Begin exploiting the deeper Yarragadee groundwater – ignore “dog in the manger” whining from SW towns – the resource there is vast.
[4] Build the Agritech project to desalinate ~45GL PA of saline Wellington Dam water (~1/sixth saline as seawater) that was and has been wasted to the sea every year.
[5] Look to rivers such as the Swan, Murray, Harvey to site small dams to source saline water for desal parallel to the Agritech project. SW rivers waste ~1,000GL of weakly saline water to the sea every year – a minor proportion could be desalinated as demand required.

1 and 2 would have eliminated the immediate need for the Kwinana seawater desal and 3, 4 & 5 would have replaced Binningup and taken care of expansion out past 2020.
[6] Looking further ahead the Agritech wheatbelt salinity reduction project with canals draining saline wheatbelt water to the coast – that water could be desalinated as required – on a scale of a doubling of the Perth water supply as well as steadily restoring wheatbelt land.
See – Perth is not running out of water – water is running out of Perth.
How easily this huge myth can be slayed. So now we see that ALL Australian capital city seawater desal plants are a colossal waste of taxpayers money.

Record flows for Avon River at Northam for 2017

Highest ever Feb flows of 150GL – data from 1977. Highest annual flow since 2000 – 240.8GL.
All of which wastes to the sea. In recent summer months there has been significant rainfall in SW WA – Jan 2016 heaviest in the SW – I blogged on that – Jan 2017 – Then Feb 2017 where I blogged again – and the ABC reported – Now we have Jan 2018 where most Perth dam catchments saw over 100mm on the 16th. I have not seen where Water Corporation recorded any dam inflows or increased levels from the above rain.