The local area is absolutely critical to water issues for Sydney.
The SCA's local "Special Area" (which starts on Tourist Road) protects the catchment of four dams on the Illawarra Plateau. Plus, our Caalang Creek is a major source for Warragamba Dam.
But it also is the location of the Kangaloon Aquifer.
Karen Guymer, is a local Robertson resident. She is one of a few people who I know who have been invited to join the Sydney Catchment Authority's "Upper Nepean Groundwater Community Reference Group".
Karen has created a blog specifically to advise people of developments in this very important process. It is called "Kangaloon Aquifer Issues", and may be found at this address: http://kangaloonaquifer.blogspot.com/
Karen has reported on the first meeting of the Committee. Click on that hotlink to see her report. She has published links on her site to reports and documents which the SCA has now released to the public.
Anyway, Karen has urged me to let everybody know that: you can HAVE YOUR SAY about the groundwater extraction proposal and these preliminary studies, up until 18 August 2006.
According to the SCA website, it will be possible to make comments on line. However, that system is not yet up and running. But you can download a "Have your Say" form. Alternatively, there is an email address provided on that site where comments may be sent to.
The Kangaloon Aquifer issue is important for the whole of the Southern Highlands.
Sydney's apparent inabilty to reduce its excessive use of water is the real problem.
"Rehabiltation - SCA style", along Tourist Road.
This is a pathetic effort by the SCA - indicative of their lack of understanding of the local environment, and the need to protect it.
The site of one of the "Test Bores" along Tourist Road, from which the SCA were pumping groundwater around Christmas and January, this last summer.
This photo shows the sign (above) directly in front of this bare earth patch they have left behind themselves - supposedly a "rehabilitation area". The back of the sign is visible in the photo.
Tourist Road is also visible in the background.
Sucking dry the Kangaloon Aquifer will make "stuff all" difference to Sydney - the water they will take from here will only supply Sydney for two weeks. But the use of the local groundwater will make a difference to the local farmers, and to the local environment - and hence to the entire Southern Highlands.
The real issue is education of Sydneysiders on their water usage: unless they change their attitude to water resources, they are headed towards a disaster. But their profligacy will risk destroying the fragile environment of the Southern Highlands - something of which they are blissfully unaware.
GROUNDWATER: HAVE YOUR SAY