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Friday, January 30, 2009

Blackouts show why Desal Plant is unsupportable

"Massive power blackout hits Victoria"

(click on that heading / link above to read the full report in The Age by Mex Cooper January 30, 2009 - 8:45PM)

"A massive power blackout has hit Victoria with nearly 350,000 residents and businesses without power".

So begins yet another story about Blackouts in Victoria, in The Age.

For yesterday's major report, click here.

I simply ask: how on earth can Victoria justify building a huge, energy intensive Desalination Plant?

How will it be powered?

Will Victorians agree to regular Blackouts, just so Mr Brumby can have his Desal Plant?

It simply is not necessary (in the first place).

Recycle your water; use your storm water; install Water Tanks; and use less water generally.

It is simply bad planning to commit to such a huge and inefficient piece of infrastructure, when Victoria can barely plan for one more domestic Air Conditioner. Indeed it cannot run all those which are there already.

Check out the Watershed Victoria website - for much more information on why the Desalination proposal is both wrong environmentally, and uneconomic. It should not be developed, and the Victorian Government has precious little time to stop itself from getting locked into a disastrous Three Billion Dollar contract with French Multinational companies - either Suez, or Veolia-Vivendi.

Stop the madness now, Mr Brumby, before it is too late.


Junior Lepid said...

The Brumby Government could not manage a picnic in a designated picnic ground, Denis.

The de-sal is just one of his hair-brained water 'solutions'as you would know!

I sincerely hope Victorian voters do not forget the events of the past week when the election is called.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi JL.
Do we have any Government in Australia, regardless of Party affiliations, which is prepared to stand up and be counted on Water Issues?
The huge Multinationals are telling the Government that Desal Plants are the Magic Bullet, and you need only deal with us, not all those pesky citizens out there, with their own water tanks, and the Councils with their Grey Water recycling systems, etc.
Its easier for the Government - all they have to do is sign on the bottom line, and let taxpayers (real people) pay it off over the next 30 years. Meanwhile, they still pump half-treated sewage water out to sea, and let storm water run into the Bay, totally wasted - because its easier that way.
We have plenty of water - we just do not use it well.

Miss Eagle said...

Denis, the more I research this desal stuff and the corporates involved, I discover new levels of my own ignorance. The latest is Spain. Spain apparently has the largest number of desal plants in the world and has been using them since 1964 when the first Spanish use was in the Canary Islands. Desal has been integral to tourism development in Spain and is used to fuel a large number of golf courses in resort areas. Apparently the latest thing is is to use desal to restore environmental flows to rivers to be used for agriculture. One assumes wine grapes and olives are high priorities. Expensive agriculture! Perhaps there is some relationship to EU subsidization of agriculture. But back to the domestic front, the Spanish stuff makes me think. Down near those pristine beaches around Wonthaggi which Clean Ocean Foundation is so fond of...are there tourism developers with plans for down that way, plan for lots of desal watered golf courses? BTW Veolia, the biggest desal mob in the world, have a person on the board of Coliban Water here in Victoria - a regional water authority. Last year the CEO was part of a study tour that went to Israel, Dubai etc..and Spain to study dryland countries who had managed their water successfully! Am trying to find out who organised the study tour.

Blessing and bliss

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Brigid
Who knows who or what is driving the agenda down there? Tourist developers, vignerons, etc wanting Desal Water - paid for by the public, of course.
Whoever they are, they are being irresponsible with resources, and should be held accountable.

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Denis,

Couldn't agree more. What may win the day is the instant-spend argument. Any plant would have long lead time. Rudd's money will go to states promising fast feedback into local economies. So water tanks and solar panels should have appeal over and above their green credentials. If only we could push some the doomed car industry into this and other sensible eco-worthy manufacture.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony.
I like the instant spend argument. I hope to meet with Penny Wong in a few weeks time, and I might just run that point by her (along with the very points I have made in this Blog posting). Stop the madness will have to be the theme.
As for eco-worthy manufacture of cars, I might let someone else fight that battle. Hard enough fighting a water war.
I know you guys u[ north would gladly share your bounty around. Very kind.
Pls send it to Gippsland, to put out their fires. :-))