Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, February 19, 2007

The future of water - is black. Black as coal.

Hi Folks. Sorry for the silence over the last few days. I was preparing a further submission to the Federal Department of Environment and Water Resources on the Kangaloon Aquifer.

We hope that the Department can persuade Mr Turnbull that indeed the "upland swamps" in the Kangaloon Aquifer are groundwater dependent ecosystems. The SMEC consultants spent 140 pages of their report debating whether or not they can be categorically ruled as NOT groundwater dependent. They concluded that such a statement could not be said.

Let us see what happens, in due course. My private position has always been that sometimes these things are won or lost on issues outside of the merits of one's particular case. I still remain hopeful, but I am the last of the "naive and sentimental fools". Hopeful, but not confident.
Here is an insight into why the SCA is so keen to steal water from the pristine Kangaloon Aquifer.

They are photos from the Waratah Rivulet, on the Woronora Plateau, above the Woronora Dam. That dam is the water supply for the Helensburgh area and for the Sutherland Shire. The Waratah Rivulet once carried 30% of the inflow of the Woronora Dam. Most of that flow is lost, now, down into the bowels of the earth, into an empty cavern where a coal mining company has removed a vast amount of coal, and then allowed the rock to slump down to partially fill that cavity.

The Coal Miners were allowed to conduct Longwall Mining underneath this particular river. That caused subsidence, with such extraordinary results that the river bed is massively cracked. The river has simply disappeared down the holes in the river bed.

The wonderful people of the Southern Highlands are blissfully unaware that these coal mines are operating under their doorsteps - out there in the so-called "Special Area". It is closer than they might think. One can see some of the coal mines from the top of Mt Murray - they are within sight of Robertson's hills. And they are relentlessly getting closer. There is coal under this entire area. It is a question of whether or not it is "economic" to extract. That equation is really only a factor of time. It might not be economic now, but by the time the rest of the coal seams have been exhausted, they will go ever further, until the coal mines are underneath our Kangaloon Aquifer, and then under Robertson as well? - One day?

What an irony, that I face an $11,000 fine should I trespass into the Special Area along Tourist Road (as if I would ever do such a thing), while the SCA allows this kind of devastating damage to occur.

More significantly, we are truly paying the price for the SCA's inability to stop the Dept of Commerce and the Dept of Natural Resources from approving this totally irresponsible form of coal mining - right under the catchment.

Not only is Sydney not restricting its consumption, the water which is in the catchment is being lost in huge amounts down into coal mines. So, naturally the SCA want to augment their supply, to compensate their mistakes.

Not surprisingly, the SCA's website for the Woronora Dam fails to mention that 30% of its inflow has been lost down a bloody great black hole called a coal mine.
These photographs are real, not doctored. They came to me courtesy of Dave Burgess of the Total Environment Centre. If you wish to find out more about mining and subsidence issues, go to the Rivers SOS website.

Patrice Newell is running as a candidate for the NSW Upper House, largely on the basis of her understanding of water issues and the dangers posed to water conservation by mining activities, especially in the Upper Hunter Valley. Patrice has broadened her field of coverage to embrace this kind of stupidity wherever it might be found. Her campaign is gaining ground, and she has invited some key note speakers to Australia as her guests, to promote the stupidity of this entire process. See "Climate Change Coalition".
It is time the world woke up.

Not only is the pollution from coal going to poison the world's atmosphere, and heat it up impossibly. Now we learn that coal mining is going to waste our last drops of precious water as well. It is obscene.

No comments: