In a short four page downloadable report on The Water Corporation web
site titled "Planning for Perths water needs", mention is made of the issue
that selective thinning of catchment forests would increase streamflows
and would be the cheapest way of increasing supplies. They also mention
the obvious point that this would produce commercialy valuable timber as
a by product.
So it looks as though there is a win win option to improve water supplies, prevent further reductions in catchment efficiency, produce some timber, probably better manage fire risk, provide a few more real jobs, give a few dozen children employed fathers. But hey, we have to take note of the views of green urban voters who have just managed to kill off much of the timber industry.
It is notable that there is NOT ONE WORD on the Water Forums web site about this vital issue of thinning catchment forests.
In The West Australian on Saturday 3 August a page 13 article by Steve
Pennells brings out new information about the effect of forest regrowth
suppressing streamflow over the last 25 years. Experts are quoted from The
Water Corporation and CALM.
The above article is worth reading carefully to see what the experts are saying. It is plain that managing of catchment bush can produce rapid dividends in higher dam levels and be close to cost neutral.
It is to be hoped that over the course of these Water Forums Perth and for how long it takes, voters and ratepayers can tell the Government whether they agree with;
Yeah, get that construction estimate in writing too.
I wonder why this ongoing process of forest regrowth inhibiting runoff should not be the subject of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Hundreds of productive enterprises over the decades have been saddled with expensive EIS's and yet here we have a case where Green dogmas have actually contributed to degrading a vital community asset and we see that data and facts about the issue are being hidden away and are not for debate.
CALM could be asked to manage the forest thinning in a way that best finds a balance between the competing aims of: