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Monday, June 18, 2007

Shoalhaven Transfers via Glenquarry Cut

In case anyone thought I was kidding about the Shoalhaven Transfers running during a time of flooding in the Nepean River, the photos below, of the water flowing out from the Glenquarry Cut, were taken by my assistant today - Monday, 18 June 2007.

Glenquarry Cut and
Wingecarribee Reservoir
Firstly, to back-track, here is the "Glenquarry Cut" - a wonderfully simple branch, from the side of the Wingecarribee Reservoir, cut through a shallow ridge, and dropping water into the valley of the Glenquarry Creek, then it runs into Doudle's Folly Creek, and then into the Upper Nepean River.

Glenquarry Cut and
discharge control
So this simple excavation cuts through an actual "divide" between the Wingecarribee and Wollondilly River catchment, and the Nepean Catchment.
Water is released from below this wall, into a pipeline, which runs about 1.5 Km, down to just below Tourist Road, where it empties into Glenquarry Creek.

The discharge point
into Doudle's Folly Creek
This is where a huge amount of water bursts out from the tunnel from the Glenquarry Cut. My assistant reported that the roar of the sound was quite amazing.

Apparently 600 Megalitres per day is discharged through here when the Shoalhaven Transfers are running.

Tunnel mouth
(Click to enlarge)
The mouth of the pipeline comes out as a kind of tunnel, and you can see the force with which the water is hitting a baffle behind the "gate", and splashing over.
On the left, you can see the natural creek - Glenquarry Creek, (or "Menzies Creek" as the locals apparently know it). Today, the water levels had lowered to a reasonably mild flow. Over the weekend, it was roaring through here.

Glenquarry Creek
gently flows along,
and suddenly is joined by
the mad rush of
the Shoalhaven Transfer waters.

However, while this part of the Nepean River system was quiet today, the Nepean River was still subject tonight, (at 6:00pm) to a flood warning at Menangle Bridge, approximately 60 Km down stream.

The question is: How irresponsible is it of the SCA to empty 600 Megalitres per day of water into a flooded river system?

The Bulk Water Manager for the SCA, Mr Ian Tanner, today told Bernard Eddy, of the Save Water Alliance that the flood warning for the Nepean had been lifted.

  • Firstly, that is incorrect. The warning is still in place. (as at 11:45 pm 18 June 2006)
  • Secondly, that warning was in place all over the weekend when these rivers were running at a full flood peak. To add water into these already flooded rivers was reckless, if not negligent. Workers had to help clear farm bridges, just down stream from this point, because driftwood was blocking the pipes underneath the low bridges/fords, causing Doudle's Folly Creek to flood over the farm road, creating a dangerous situation. Even today, they were still hauling away branches of dead willow trees, etc.
I can only conclude that a lack of common sense is not compensated for by an impressive job title.

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