Rainfall “interlude” delays Canberra dam construction

Mr Mark Sullivan – boss of Canberra water untility ACTEW tells how Cotter River flows have caused three months delay in construction.

Puzzling that they would not have been better prepared because Mr Sullivan claims to be guided by “scarily right” (see comment 30) CSIRO climate change scenarios.

It has been plain for many months that 2010 was a wet year and in November ACT Govt people were briefed that the wet was likely ongoing into early 2011.

6 thoughts on “Rainfall “interlude” delays Canberra dam construction”

  1. I dont know what “scarily right” CSIRO Climate Change Scenarios Sullivan is talking about. But perhaps he could talk to poor old Dr Geoff Cary a fire ecologist at the ANU.
    In his bushfire model FIRESCAPE he doesnt know whether to input a rainfall increase or a decrease.
    We introduced a three and a half degree increase in temperature, which is about the middle of what we might expect. We also increased rainfall by a fifth, and we decreased rainfall by a fifth, as it’s uncertain how global warming will influence precipitation.

  2. Warwick I grew up in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Shortly before I went to work in Sydney in the 1960s there was a fortnight of 110 to 111 fahrenheit days. It caused many to stop working. I have a vivid memory of it but can find no record. Could you suggest how I might run it down.

  3. Yes Mike – if you go to this BoM site.
    Make sure you choose Temperature – then tick Daily.
    Try place names of your choosing.
    Experiment with unticking the “Only show open stations” box – because what you are after is a fair time ago.
    If you then highlight – click on a station – the term of data held should appear under where it says “Data available for the selected station”. You can then click the “Get Data” button and for me – another Tab opens with the data in a Table – then at top left there is a drop-down menu to select the year. I see you can also choose a year at the first page. Lets know how you go. You might have to experiment around a bit with towns to find daily data for the 60’s. For example 68045 Moss Vale (Hoskins Street) has data for most of the 60’s. 70080 Taralga Post Office had all the 60’s. Good luck.

  4. Thanks Warwick got the Sydney airport it goes back far enough. Still cannot find it. I went to Sydney to work in February of 1961 looking at the data 26/01/1960 42.2, 43.0 and 41.2 so three days above 40. My memory is that it was much longer than that. Now that I have the dates maybe I will go and look a the newspapers of the time. Could the figures have been altered at the airport too?

  5. Looks like the BOM’s forecasts aren’t as eerily accurate or as scarily accurate up in Qld as they appear to be in the ACT.
    Wivenhoe Dam operator SEQWater’s excuse for not releasing more water from the dam ahead of expected heavy rainfall predictions from BOM (which unfortunately turned out to be accurate!) was that they had not been reliable in the past and so were ignored.
    I know what they mean, when we were on the Gold Coast at the time we received a number of flash flood, hail and severe storm warnings which turned out to be duds and ignored all subsequent warnings, none to our cost!

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