Category Archives: Water

How many times has the WA Govt. solved Wellington Dam salinity problems?

News from WA today – Wellington Dam desalination plan to boost local agriculture It seems that Collie Water is this project here by Aqua Ferre Holdings Pty Ltd (Aqua Ferre) and Harvey Water. I look for project details but it seems that is not available freely on the www – you have to register with them. How disgusting that the WA Govt would be party to a project where information is not freely available. I checked Harvey Water and could see nothing about Collie Water. (See 4th comment for copy & paste of June 2016 article on the Collie Water Project plus their detailed map.)

Our Bunbury correspondent has sent in the following which will be expanded as time allows.
West Australian Water Using Taxpayers – Please Stand and Salute – An
Election is Coming.

This Election is Official because “Premier Water Guru Barnett” has once again raised Water as one of his lead promises.

Yes people, this is the same man who came up with a “foolproof cure” for Perth’s ailing water supplies in 2008 with the now famous “Colin’s Canal” project of delivering vast quantities of water
from the north west of the State to Perth, via a large lined canal at a cost of a mere $?.

But in Colin’s normal cautious way, he sought expert advice from a large Perth engineering group during a luncheon meeting at a restaurant in Perth.

This long and intense meeting resulted in carefully putting the plan down on paper, or a number of serviettes.
Initial costing for this audacious project was also calculated on even more serviettes until all agreed, Perth’s water problems were solved forever and Colin’s Canal solution was born and used as
an election promise.

The problem was the approximate costing given, bore no relationship to the actual cost and his good friends and benefactors. The Federal Government would not provide the funding sought and just as well
because an subsequent enquiry found a series of fatal errors in the plan.

Not to be daunted, Colin just prior to another State election, announced a $300,000 investigation into future water source options for Wellington Dam, the largest and safest dam in the SW of this State.
Interestingly, from a field of 18 proponents the field was reduced to three including Agritechsmartwater, Water & Rivers Commission (Gov.) Forest Products (CALM GOV).

The subsequent winner was Dept of Water, whose brilliant idea of diverting the east Collie river behind the dam into an “alleged” unused coal void, then taking it out in Summer, treating it with a fossil fuel powered RO plant and then pumping the water uphill to Harris Dam.

The pilot study of this proposal became an unmitigated disaster and once again, yet another “foolproof” Government plan and a few million dollars of taxpayers funds went out the window.

Perth dams rain data 2016

I am surprised the BoM and the WA Govt Water Corporation have not got their Perth dams rain data in order at the end of 2016. I have several posts on the subject through 2016 and have called for an audit. The latest was WA Water Corporation can not replace a couple of rain gauges in 2 months 27 Oct 2016
Water Corp are still showing the message re faulty instruments. Water Corp monthly rain data individual dams.WA Govt stations in Red
The three worst BoM stations. BoM stations in Blue.
Mundaring Weir daily rain 2016 no data post March
Victoria Dam daily rain 2016 data shambles
Serpentine Main Dam daily rain 2016 no data post May

Australian Government financial disasters

I will add to this list and links as ideas come in. We may be the lucky country but surely stupidity will extract a price one day. All these issues would make articles in their own right.

[1] AUSSAT $700mill losses & debts rolled over into Pay TV 1990’s,
[2] $6Bn Collins Class Submarines 1990’s – duds we are still stuck with,
[3] Electricity privatisations started in 1990’s – looking at our ballooning power prices would we have been better off keeping the old State Electricity Commissions? Despite the feather-bedded unions.
[4] MRET scheme making 3 worse and harming our electricity grid into the bargain – ongoing multi $Bn’s as taxpayers fund wind & solar that can never power our 24/7 grid,
[5] Defence purchases eg MRH-90 helicopters $4.2Bn,
[6] Frequently delayed and poorly performing F-35 fighters $24Bn alone,
[7] Eastern States Desalination plants ~$20Bn,
[8] Rudd Labor watering down border laws $11.6 billion over five years,
[9] Decades of anti-damism – after not building the Franklin Dam in the 80’s,
[10] Antifracking hysteria affecting gas exploration policy in face of rising prices,
[11] Building the Education Revolution $16.2Bn – More money for Education = worse results,
[12] Adelaide Hospital third most expensive building in the world $2.1Bn,
[13] Inability to control rogue unions like CFMEU which affects 12 and all other construction est +$10Bn,
[14] NBN a future $100Bn mediocre performer?
[15] Buying 12 French submarines before even a prototype is built future $50Bn,
[16] The GST carve up which rewards the basket case States SA & Tas.
[17] Various States and GreenLabor anti-nuclear policies.
[18] Climate change policies – have a effect in 4, 7, 10, multi-$Bn’s.
[19] Just been told about this from Toytown 17 Jan 2017. Amazing construction stuffup with Sydney Metro NorthWest rail bridge.
“Investigation reveals ‘disappointing’ failures in Skytrain construction”

Please send in useful links and analysis. I must have been half asleep to leave the Rudd MkI Pink Batts and School Halls stimulus projects off the list. Also forgot to add GreenLabor’s Murray Darling Basin Plan to waste more dam water to the ocean.

South Australian Minister for Water expresses their Murray Darling Basin policy succinctly

SA MP reined in after ‘F*** you all’ comments over Murray-Darling Basin Plan – slapped on wrist with a bit of cooked lettuce.
All the Crow Eaters want is for the Murray Darling water to run into South Australia unimpeded – then they will do what they want with it – simple.
Imagine the meedja hysteria if a non-Left pollie had said these things.
We expect our politicians to speak robustly but his reported references to women surely make him unsuitable for cabinet office.
NSW and Vic should cut down on environmental flows and use the water as they see fit – then let what is left drain into the failed State of South Australia.

WA Water Corporation can not replace a couple of rain gauges in 2 months

I first saw the notice under the Table at this Water Corporation page on 26 August “rainfall instruments located at Victoria Dam and Mundaring Weir are being serviced and are not currently recording rainfall.” – there was no such notice on 1st August. I emailed the WA Minister for Water on 9 August Subject: “Audit required Perth dams rainfall”.
The Water Corporation notice has not changed in 2 months.
A Water Corporation staffer could have bought a couple of $10 rain gauges at Bunnings – plus a couple of star pickets and in the space of a few hours have functioning rain gauges again at the Mundaring & Victoria dam sites.
It simply beggars belief that in more than 60 days they still say the sites are “…being serviced and are not currently recording rainfall.”

Proof WA Water Corporation does not reliably record rain

After a wet weekend 15th-16th October WA Water Corporation recorded rain at only 2 of their 7 Perth dam rain stations on Monday morning the 17th.
You can check the widespread rain around Perth on 15th and 16th of October just click the Perth region on this AWN map and scroll down noting rain on that weekend.
Now the WA Water Corporation records rain 5 days a week at their dams at this page. I have kept many daily screen shots over several months and often the recording of daily rain by Water Corporation bears little resemblance to rain that we know fell in the district on the preceding day. So clearly the proviso at the bottom of their page about “rangers may not collect rainfall readings daily” is very very true.
In the case we are looking at – the widespread rain on 15th-16th Oct – for 5 of the 7 dam rain stations no rain data was collected up to 6 & 7 days later. Obviously with delays taking rain readings factors like evaporation could make readings less useful with every day that passes – but a week!! If they use electric gauges then they are subject to errors too. I do not know what goes on in Water Corporation but it is imperative that all of their daily rain data be made public so anybody can check how their taxes are being spent.
Table of most weather stations relevant to Perth dams rain – summing up how Water Corporation missed reading most rain on the weekend of 15-16th Oct 2016. Map of BoM rain stations and dam sites.

A week of pages saved from Water Corporation Rainfall at Perth Dams page-
Friday 14th
Monday 17th Rain recorded at Canning & Churchmans but differently – only Water Corp could tally rain in different ways.
Tuesday 18th no change from 17th note the 14.6mm still shows in error at Churchmans
Wednesday 19th – 16.2 recorded at Wungong assumed from weekend
Thursday 20th exactly the same as 19th
Friday 21st 2.4mm added at Wungong
Note my 14 October blog – Obfuscating reply from WA Minister for Water re my call for rainfall audit

Perth dam catchments rainfall – how much is that?

It is obvious that BoM and Water Corporation rain stations are low down in catchments near the various dams –

convenient near roads and easy for staff to monitor. Click on Select Using Map – Large areas of the catchments are not monitored by BoM rainfall stations. In 1997 this contour map showed annual average rain for SW WA – the rain numbers would have been heavily influenced by pre 1975 higher level rainfall. It would be helpful if the WA Govt or BoM could redo the map using post-1975 rainfall – which is vastly more relevant to water supply issues than pining after pre-1975 numbers.
The WA Dept of Food & Agriculture have a www site for their own network of weather stations – which in many cases also report to the BoM pages – for example the daily rain maps.
Last week I noticed that the DAFWA station Glen Eagle near the Albany Highway between the Canning and Wungong catchments has recorded the stunning total of 1280mm for the year to date.

Perhaps it is at a higher altitude – will try and find out. GE only commenced in August 2015 – I assume DAFWA checks the calibration of their instruments.
Here is my table of catchment stations with 2016 rain totals updated through August.

The zeros & blanks need urgent attention from the BoM and some monthly totals from Water Corp need examination.
The WA Dept of Water has a large network of stations in the catchments but most seem to be discontinued. Here is a map of their stations – Set Site Category to Meteorological.

I checked a string along the Brookton Highway and none was current – it is time consuming to check. Who knows what useful data they may have. We need all data public to audit and produce a better record of catchment rain.