Recent TV news about ample river flows for the Avon Descent white water boat race near Perth, Western Australia, raise an interesting question. The Avon River joins the Swan River and runs right through the centre of Perth.
Perth has a water shortage, water users are on restrictions, water prices are sky-rocketing from 16 cents per kilolitre to $2 per kilolitre, so why is this water wasting to sea in the Swan River, right through the heart of Perth. Amazing that there is not ONE word in the media joining the dots between the abundant water in the Avon, wasting to sea and the Perth water crisis.
Weird hey ?
A published paper by several Govt scientists states that over 600 GL of weakly saline water flows on average each year in the Avon, Murray and Collie Rivers. This is circa twice the Perth annual water consumption. Yet over the decades Perth has been blessed with such abundant water supplies that we use none of this huge water source for “town supply”.
Agritech at their website describe their win win win proposal for desalinating waste water from Wellington Dam near Collie.
The Western Australian Government Water Corporation has spent years opposing the Agritech project which is to supply water to the Govt at 60 cents per kilolitre, half the cost of the currently operation Kwinana seawater desalination plant. A sensible Govt. (is this an oxymoron?) would say to Agritech: why not increase your project to 100 GL per year and we will see you get the extra water stocks from the Avon or Murray rivers? Too logical, too easy. This would only save us from investing over $2 Billion in seawater desalination, or in terms of annual water costs, would save over $100 million per year.
Below is a recent press article re the Avon Descent. Note that this Avon River water, much of which originates in the wheatbelt, will be slightly saline. Similar to the Wellington Dam water from the Collie River and also similar to the Murray River sl saline water which flows between the Avon and Collie.
27th July 2007, 6:00 WST
Competitors and spectators can look forward to a bumper Avon Descent after a week of heavy rain boosted water flows, promising plenty of white water action on August 4-5.
Water levels at Walyunga in the Avon Valley this week exceeded one metre and are tipped to keep rising with more rain forecast and water still flowing from the catchment area.
Avon Descent event co-ordinator Hugh Singe said water levels at the popular location were almost three times those for last year’s event and the highest in about five years.
Recent rains had allayed fears of a repeat of last year, when competitors had to drag boats over rocks because of low water levels.
“This week is the first time all year the river has flowed at a rate to create white water,” Mr Singe said.
“Sneakers were almost more important than paddles last year but I doubt competitors will need their sneakers this year.”
The boost in levels has the Avon Descent rescue team bracing for a busy two-day event, after a slow couple of days last year.
Since last Friday, Northam has had more than 40mm while 58mm fell at Brookton over the same period.
Rain is forecast until next Wednesday as two cold fronts pass through. A scheduled 664 competitors will tackle the 133km course to compete for more than $60,000 worth of prizes in what is considered the world’s greatest white water event and Australia’s richest paddling event.
Mr Singe said more than 100,000 spectators were expected along the river from Northam to Bayswater.