Open letter to: Minister for Climate Change and Water

The Federal Minister in Australia that is.

Dear Minister Wong,

I note your press release re the Governments newly released $12.9Billion water plan.

The water plan will, sadly, fail to deliver value to Australia because it repeats the same mistakes that have dogged water policy for over a decade now.

Many years of Green anti-dam dogmas given prominence in the media, have tended to inhibit water utilities and Govts. from augmenting or building additional dam sources. This has led to inadequate planning for new supplies and continues to blight Australian water policies. More recently, pessimistic climate predictions from CSIRO, often recycled by media-prominent doomsters and naysayers, has led to policymakers moving away from natural water supplies. The reality of rainfall data going back to the late 19th Century usually tells us that the recent dryer years post 2000 are no worse than earlier dry periods.

You should be suggesting to State Govts that they harvest available, cheaper, low-impact, natural-water close to their metropoli, such as -The WA Govt. should abandon plans for a second $1Billion high-impact seawater desalination factory for Perth.

You could suggest the WA Govt harvests readily-available, cheaper, low-impact natural water close to Perth, such as –

[1] Manage the existing Perth dam catchments so as to easily increase yield per year equal to the 45 GL per year production from your $500 Million Kwinana seawater desalination water factory – which could then be mothballed at great savings to taxpayers.

[2] Today, start cutting down all of the water-hogging Gnangara pines and save at least a similar amount of pumping capacity.

[3] Harvest for cheap desalination a small proportion of the slightly saline water that currently wastes to sea every year in the Avon, Murray and Collie Rivers. Easily producing say 50 GL per year. You could ask the WA Govt if it is feasible to raise the dam wall at the Wellington dam, thus increasing storage.

Shortcomings in WA water policy are covered in greater detail in a downloadable 3 page Word doc report at my internet site: “There never was a rain shortage to justify seawater desalination for Perth’s water supply“.

In the case of the Victorian Govt, you should suggest they amend their short sighted National Parks legislation and build a dam on the Mitchell River and stop planning the money-wasting $3Billion high-impact, seawater desalination factory. Give taxpayers a break for once. Another internet report on Melbourne water issues; is critical of a CSIRO / BoM map and shows several rainfall histories which demonstrate cyclic dry periods going back over 100 years.

In the case of the NSW Govt, they should be told to amend their National Park expansions of previous decades to allow new dam(s) on Rivers north-west of Sydney. They should also cease wasting taxpayers money on the high-impact, needless, multi-$Billion, Kurnell seawater desalination factory. In the case of Sydney I have web pages commenting on the dubious application of CSIRO climate modelling; and various graphics demonstrating cyclic dry periods in the rainfall history of the Sydney region.

In the case of Canberra, the Govt is throwing away money on plans for a waste-water treatment plant to produce small amounts of very expensive water. You should suggest that they actually make a start on one of their perfectly feasible dam projects. I have an internet article on Canberra water resources at;
Canberra water supply, sensible options sidelined by Govt in thrall of IPCC climate models.”

You should address the issue of how the Murray Darling Basin Commission failed to prevent the construction of the colossal water storages on Cubbie station and explore ways to return a majority of these flows to the Darling River where they belong.

The issue of so called “allocations” must be addressed: How ridiculous it is that Govts are allocating water that does not exist in some years.

You should check the feasibility very carefully before using taxpayer funds to subsidise domestic water tanks for urban areas. In most cases these tanks produce very expensive water and it is far more economic of Australian financial resources to augment scheme-water supplies to meet demand. If wealthy people are happy to spend money on water tanks, they should check their facts but that is their business.

Depleting Snowy Mountains scheme water on Snowy River so called environmental flows is unsound and wasteful; benefits a small number of people who have political leverage, and should cease. The Snowy River as it runs, after the Snowy Mountains scheme diversions, has ample catchment to provide for adequate environmental flows. Considering that the exact shape of this or that river catchment has been formed by geological accident over millions of years, it is a silly (Green) proposition that Australian interests are served by this diversion of Snowy Mountains scheme water. In this case Australian interests are best served by the water being retained for flows in the economically more important Murray River.

These are some sound ideas to go on with, all of which will tend to reduce individual householders ever-rising water costs, and increase the resilience of water supplies.

Yours sincerely,

Warwick Hughes

3 thoughts on “Open letter to: Minister for Climate Change and Water”

  1. The Cubbie Station project is a great project. It should be left alone. It too has had a hard time during the last three years because of lack of rain.

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