2009 update – Perth dam catchments rainfall still normal, Govt building $Billion seawater desalination plant #2

As this graphic continues to show – year after year, Perth dam catchments rainfall has proved remarkably reliable over 35 years in the face of recent WA Govt propaganda spruiking, “our drying climate”, etc etc.

See my late 2007 article, “There never was a rain shortage to justify seawater desalination for Perth’s water supply” and downloadable word doc with several rational proposals vastly cheaper and lower impact than seawater desalination to augment Perth water supply.

35 years Perth dams catchments rain

But the silly WA Govt are going ahead with the plus $Billion new desal plant at Binningup just north of Bunbury.

Disgraceful waste of taxpayer monies, exactly at a time we are entering economic rough times. Crazy. See the full page press advert your taxes paid for.

Read my July 2007: W.A. Govt propaganda takes water supply “post rain” and in May 2007: West Australian Premier talks utter nonsense about rainfall

What was it he said? – from Hansard:

Mr A.J. CARPENTER (WA Premier): “..It has stopped raining in the south west of Western Australia. The rain no longer falls from the sky in sufficient quantities to fill the dams to fill the pipes to fill the cups for people to drink…”

Clearly, politicians fed climate change rubbish from the ruling public service elite are believing their own incestuous propaganda.

All rain data from the Australian BoM – who else?

10 comments to 2009 update – Perth dam catchments rainfall still normal, Govt building $Billion seawater desalination plant #2

  • In the early eighties I lived in the city and used weekends for bush getaways. I thought I was “green”, but was bewildered by the universal hostility to damming the far-off Franklin, even among conservatives. I was alone: I can’t recall a single acquaintance, however conservative, who was not anti-dam.

    Yet not one of them could explain to me why the dam was a bad idea. It was like religion: belief followed manifestation, reasons were superfluous. Even for the hard-headed and frankly rapacious, the dam was an occasion for moral rapture. I’m not saying the dam was a good idea: just that nobody then felt the need to have a reason. None of these people, for example, were demonstrating in favour of dismantling Warragamba. They went on watering their lawns as usual.

    So now I’m asking: is there one good thing to be said for desalination? This time around, I want to know. Desal strikes me as the ultimate awful idea. I dunno, maybe towing in icebergs is a worse idea. Enlighten me. Is it just bigger and better slings for Labor pollies? Am I missing something?

  • WSH

    I have pondered too how in the case of Perth such a stupid policy came to pass. IMHO Robert there are a number of threads that combined in the early years of this decade.
    The Green party was on a steady rise in influence and you have the preference voting deals with Labor – as you know all manner of dubious green ideas are peddled by the mainstream media MSM as proven facts.
    So anti-damism was/is a powerful force here.
    The 2002 drought mainly in the Eastern States was beaten up in the media as “worst ever” – was also connected to GW in the MSM – all reinforces anti-damism.
    In WA the Govt in 2002 seized on this term, “our drying climate” – much promoted by distorting climate statistics – joining water issues with GW, gets them off the hook that their own bad planning caused any water shortage.
    A big deal was made of the ~10% reduction in SW WA region rain in the mid-1970′s – climate change stole our rain – as though water planners did not have time to cope with that fact.
    The Greens oppose any interference with the bush – so there was a dovetailing here with the Govts stopping catchment management.
    Desalination has a certainty to it that appealed to the ALP Premier Geoff Gallop.
    Running an expensive water factory is much more glamorous in terms of jobs and career paths than just cheaply piping free dam water around – so it is easy to see professionals going along.
    Amazingly the intro of desal to Perth on such a shaky pretext acted as a example for the Eastern States water utilities to follow.
    Even in ACT water papers Perth is quoted as some great example.
    ACT (Canberra) Government water report makes bizarre and misleading reference to Perth rainfall
    If you follow my water Category back you will find various pages on Perth issues.
    There has to be a book in it.

  • Bernd Felsche

    Take a look at the Watercorp web site graphic for inflows again … it mentions a dramatic reduction, but nothing about rainfall.

    Happy New Year.

  • WSH

    Yes Bernd, I did take a look, I see no improvement to the tenor of their propaganda. I am not sure what your comment “..nothing about rainfall.” means. They do mention recent rain on other related pages but you will not find long term data showing what my catchment rain series shows. They also like to talk about Perth rain, which is much less than catchments rain and does not run into dams of course.
    The link, “Yearly Streamflow for Major Surface Water Sources” takes you to their deceptive and widely promulgated graphic which records the effect of their policy over many years to in effect, quietly decommission a significant percentage of Perth dams capacity by choosing not to manage catchments. As Green policies are to not touch bush, this keeps Govts onside with Green preference votes.
    For at least a decade the WA Govt water depts (incl WC) have issued misleading propaganda distorting the truth about rain trends. My first pages on Perth water supply issues are here; then after the Kwinana desal plant was announced I contributed to the Perth Water Users site, lost by Geocities but now at this new address ?? and still available at the WayBack Machine.
    Then about 2007 I started putting water articles on this blog, see the Water category.
    Please let me know if there is something you can not find, it probably needs re-writing to new pages but no time to spare for that with ClimateGate so active.

  • Bernd Felsche

    Here’s the historical Yearly Streamflow for Major Surface Water Sources chart. Nothing about rainfall (nor climate change) mentioned in that (any more).

    I have been using content from your various sites as a source of information for quite a few years. Thanks.

    Your recent catchment rainfall analysis narrows down the BoM’s SW rainfall neatly; Chart + Data. (The page to which you ling as “Yearly Streamflow” is dam storage levels.) As I was on the page, I checked the trend from their data (which is accentuated by the suppressed zero rainfall); and again, the 1.1 mm (with R^2=0.7) annual decline in rainfall isn’t something to be concerned about; given an annual standard deviation of over 110 for the 110 years of data (with an incredible resolution of 0.01mm after 1900!).

    It’s quite interesting to crunch the decadal rainfall standard deviations; which were in excess of 150 during the early to mid 20th century. Rainfall was quite unpredictable! Much less so during the 1980′s when the standard deviation was as low as 50 mm. We’re back to about 80 mm. The most recent decade’s rainfall has been withing one standard deviation of that of the first decade of the 20th Century’s.

    Eye-balling the actual storage levels for Serpentine, Mundaring, Canning and Wungong from e.g. Storage At Wungong Dam from January 2005 to January 2010 looks like an increasing trend in storage levels over the past 5 years, at least.

  • WSH

    Thanks Bernd, Perth rain from WWI to ~1970 was certainly much more variable and at a higher average, than my 35 year catchment series. I thought you might enjoy this letter in today’s Canberra Times from a reader just back from Perth and informing fellow denizens of this Green-Left paradise about Perth water supply. There is much misinformation printed in the CT but this letter would be up there for a prize. Hard to believe the letters Editor and staff would not have known Perth has dams.

  • Bernd Felsche

    Gobsmacked. How could anybody be so ignorant of Perth’s water sources? It beggars belief. But L.E. Fisher seems more interested in writing letters to express opinion than facts. (Site search shows a number of hits.)

    For the CT to print such a letter, without a note about the reservoirs is a sign of incompetence.

  • John Foley

    Has anyone anything to say about rainfall collection for domestic and drinking use in winter in perth ,reverting to scheme in summer?

  • AD

    It’s the first day of 2012 and I thought I would look at the rainfall data for Perth for the 2011 year.

    I was happy seeing the total rainfall in 2011 being above average, but confused when I saw the dam capacity was so low. I then went to stream flow data, I could find no explanation for the very low inflow of water into the dams and after using google I came to your webpage.

    The failure in catchment management has startled me.

    Is there any hope of you writing an update?

    Has there been any improvement in catchment management in the last few years? the Barnett Liberal government is not indebted in any way to the “Greens”,

    What has been done for Perths’ water supply?

    Apologise for disturbing you.

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