Category Archives: Water

West Australian Premier talks utter nonsense about rainfall

These quotes are from Hansard for Question time in the WA Legislative Assembly, Thursday 17 May 2007. Note, Hansard is the Australian Parliamentary transcripts, or diary.

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…”

The Premier was answering a question which included the Agritech proposal to produce water for Perth from Wellington Dam, full text is reproduced below.

Data for this graphic is from the WA Govt WaterCorp website.
Wellington Dam storage levels

NOTE: Wellington Dam (just west of Collie in SW WA) overflowed in 2005 and near overflowed in 2006, despite the low rainfall that year. In most years WaterCorp releases several tens of GL of water from the foot of the dam to reduce salinity. This water now wasted and other available water would be the basis for Agritech’s proposal to supply water to Perth see: www.agritechsmartwater.com.au/

To see several graphics putting SW WA rainfall in perspective with catchment flows and Govt policy, click here.
Continue reading West Australian Premier talks utter nonsense about rainfall

BoM rain predictions “totally useless”

We are talking here about the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) “National Seasonal Rainfall Outlook”. The BoM produces these predictive maps every month looking ahead for the next three months. I have for some years been critical that these Outlook maps are too often grossly wrong when compared to the rain anomaly maps National Seasonal Rainfall Outlook produced by the BoM, 100 days or more later of course.
See my pages where Outlook maps are juxtaposed with real world rain anomalies. The quote of “totally useless” in my post headline comes from an article on ABC Online news, ABC being our Govt. owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Continue reading BoM rain predictions “totally useless”

Basic MDB rainfall data for the Wentworth Group

There is much comment in the Australian media about water shortages and prominent in this whole “debate” is the Wentworth Group, who are held out to be water experts and Professor Peter Cullen, of Canberra I think, often seems to speak for the Wentworth Group. I have just noticed a recent news item, copied below, where Prof Cullen commences by restating some popular mantras.
“Much of Australia seems to be drying and we are now facing real water scarcity for many of our cities and for rural areas. This crisis in The Murray-Darling Basin has been brought on by the climate shift and the serious drought..”.

The black trendline on this BoM rainfall history 1900-2006 for the Murray Darling Basin (MDB) shows the 1940’s were dryer than now and there is NO evidence in these data of a climate shift. It is perfectly clear that current dryer conditions are normal cyclic events to be expected and that planning of urban water infrastructure has failed to keep pace with population and consumption trends.

MDB rain history 1900-2006
I agree with many of the other points in the article and fully expect that Wentworth Group people will dominate the “experts” group to be appointed under the Federal Governments new plans.

It is worth making the point here that high rainfall in the 30 years from the late 1940’s could well have been due in part to the post WWII airborne cloud seeding experiments. So it is ironic that our whole structure of State water allocations might have been warped by a process that has been stopped now for 20 or so years.
Souirce for graphic;www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/timeseries.cgi
Continue reading Basic MDB rainfall data for the Wentworth Group

Stockinterview website notes failed BoM rainfall Outlook

Good to see other people are noticing the pathetic standard of BoM attempts to model rainfall 90 days out in their three month Outlooks.

Scroll well down on this article at: www.stockinterview.com/News/03092007/Ranger-Flooded-ERA.html
under the Australian rainfall map for

“On February 22nd, the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology issued a “Neutral” three-month outlook for the country’s Northern Territories, writing, “The Northern Territory outlook for total March to May rainfall shows no strong swings in the odds toward wetter or drier conditions.” A few days later, one of the world’s largest producing uranium mines shut down because of heavy rainfall and flooding, ..etc”

The BoM prediction/forecast, whatever, could not hold for a week. Readers here may have seen my critique of years of failed BoM rainfall Outlooks at: www.warwickhughes.com/drought/ which could do with updating.

Queensland Govt., stunning hypocrisy over water

Premier Peter Beattie and his Deputy Premier Anna Bligh are whining in concert that the Federal Government is not doing enough to assist drought-stricken Queenslanders.
Within the last ten years the Queensland Govt. stood by and let Cubbie Station trap river flows at the border with NSW up to a scale of 600 GL per year (MDBC), about equal to the annual water consumption in Sydney.
Continue reading Queensland Govt., stunning hypocrisy over water

Dark Green policy unmasked after spider discovery

Recent news items copied below record the discovery of a 140 million year old trapdoor spider species in the SW of Western Australia. If is fascinating to read carefully the words from the Department of Environment and Conservation and ponder how they reveal exactly how Dark Green policy is formed that will impinge irrationally on the States population.
Here is a species that has survived since before the dinosaurs and in just the last million years has coped with four global ice ages, involving repeated climate changes through times that were most certainly, hotter than now, colder than now, wetter than now and dryer than now. Not to mention tens of thousands of years subjected to indigenous forest burning customs, followed by over a century of european logging.
Continue reading Dark Green policy unmasked after spider discovery

WA Govt. wastes 75 GL of rainwater in 2005

Perth uses approximately 300GL of water PA.

The Govt. is constructing a ~$400Mill seawater desalination plant to produce 45GL PA.

In 2005 May to October (the runoff season) Perth dam catchments which total 3500 squ. kms had circa 958mm of rain. This equates to about 3353GL water falling free into catchments of which approx. 115GL flowed into dams, meaning that catchment efficiency (yield) was 3.4%.

My graphic at the Perth Water Users web site shows that up until the mid 1990’s catchment efficiency was 5.5 to 6%. Let’s just assume for a minute that our Governments had been sensible and maintained catchment management work, keeping yields this year at say 5.7%. An increase of 2.3% (5.7-3.4) in this years yield would have put an extra 75+ GL (2.3% of 3353 GL) into our dams, which is 160% of the projected production from the Kwinana Desalination Plant (KDP), where costs have already blown out to over $387Million.