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Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hunter River flood photos

Hunter River - Morpeth
Here are a number of photos, courtesy of Martin Eddy, a Newcastle resident. (Son of Save Water Alliance member, Bernie, who could not help commenting that it is a shame some of this water could not be collected into dams). I agree.

As a matter of fact, I heard that the large Mangrove Mountain Dam (the main supply for Gosford and the Central Coast/Wyong area) received 361 mm of rain in this storm (roughly as much as Robbo received back in February) - but it added a mere 6% to the storage - raising its storage from a disastrously low 10% to a mere 16%.
Wikipedia comments:

"In recent years the Central Coast's main issues have centred around sustainable development and creation of local employment as the population of the region expands rapidly. High-rise development has been at the centre of many disputes as well as an ongoing water supply issue.

"Water restrictions on the Central Coast currently stand at Level 4, Level 5 being the highest, with temporary desalination plants currently being deployed at Budgewoi as an emergency response. Most of the regions water comes from Mangrove Mountain Dam, which was not originally meant to be the main dam." Wikipedia - Central Coast NSW entry.
If this event was a so-called one in 30 year storm (as it is being described) then I confidently predict that the Mangrove Mountain Dam can never be filled by normal catchment.Clearly the dam is simply built in the wrong spot. It has a large capacity, but little catchment.

The local water authority spokesman told the ABC Central Coast radio this morning that the dam, when full holds 10 years supply of water. So, at 16% it holds a mere 1.6 years worth of water. But, it needs 16 times as much rain as it received this week to fill it. For a one in 30 year event, that is a statistical nonsense.
Heads should roll, of whoever approved this dam construction in the first place, and the engineers who "prepared the brief".

As it is, their intention is to wait for whichever Party gets elected after the next election to build an $80 million pipeline from the Hunter Valley to pump water up into this dam. How expensive is it to pump water up into this dam? How many years will they have to wait?

This is the grounded bulk carrier "Pasha Bulker" receiving the tail end of the storm which made it drag its anchors in the first place, forcing it onto the beach. One wonders why the Captain and crew did not follow the orders apparently given by the Maritime Authorities, when the storm was approaching, for bulk carriers to move further out to sea.

Nice artistic framing of this photograph by Martin Eddy.

It shows the truly ridiculous position this ship has got itself into.
The latest word is that the ship's outer hull has ruptured, so locals hope that it is not going to contaminate the coast, when tugs start to try and drag it off the beach tomorrow.

1 comment:

Gaye from the Hunter said...

hi Denis,

Martin Eddy's photography is excellent.

I didn't get to capture any 'dramatic' flood scenes, just concentrated on recording some images very close to home. The home range is always precious, though.