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Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, December 18, 2006

Everybody is stealing water, it seems.

Jonathan Bell sent me a story from Farm Weekly (WA):
"Perth city residents to steal rural water".
<<"After months of debate about environmental and social impacts and strong opposition from South-West residents, the EPA has recommended that Environment Minister Mark McGowan allow 45 gigalitres to be drawn from the aquifer annually for Perth residents' consumption.WAFarmers water spokesman, Steve Dilley, says rural people are becoming more convinced that "what Perth wants, it gets" — regardless of the ramifications to rural and regional areas.">>

Well, you can see how that story is heading. Game, Set and Match to Perth residents.

Sure enough, the story ends up:
<<"The final decision will be made by the Environment Minister after consultation with other decision-making authorities such as the Water Department.">>

We shall see if the environmental caveats recommended by the local EPA on draining that Aquifer have any effect, once the Perth's Water Department has its say.
As I commented to Jonathan, it is a very similar situation in the Latrobe Valley, in Victoria, where Melbourne is taking pristine water from the Thomson Dam (the subject of Bushfire threats in the last week) to supply suburbia, while Melbourne is now pumping treated effluent (recycled water) to the Latrobe Valley, for use as a coolant in the enormous coal processing and electricity generating industries there.
And in Queensland, Peter Beattie is talking about damming the Mary River, (above Maryborough) in order to provide water to Brisbane (well to the south).
As I said, everybody is stealing everybody else's water. Few are doing it as much as Sydney, though, with the huge "water transfers" from the Tallowa Dam, on the Shoalhaven River. It is a disaster for the River, and a severe limitiation upon Nowra's economic development. It is the exact opposite of decentralisation.

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