Friday, November 17, 2006

Save us from politicians!

The obvious first steps to solving long-term water problems are recycling what we use and storing what we currently pipe out to sea.

We have to be given alternatives to using pure drinking water to clean our cars, our footpaths, to water our gardens. And we have to store the rainwater that doesn't fall in the cachement area, which we already harvest but channel to the wrong place.

So what does our Premier come up with?

Here's what the Express Advocate reports:

Pipedream or saviour?

An artist's impression of what the new Tillegra dam will look like when completed. **

A BOLD and far-sighted rescue plan or gigantic political stunt?

Opinion was divided after Premier Morris Iemma's pledge on Monday to build a $342 million dam to help secure the Central Coast's water supplies.

Mr Iemma said the giant 450billion-litre Tillegra Dam, near Dungog, would service the Lower Hunter and Central Coast.

He also announced the expansion of the Hunter pipeline to the Central Coast. The Hunter pipeline will be finished early next month and capable of pumping 27 megalitres a day.
Monday's announcement will mean the allocation will jump to 35 megalitres or half the coast's daily needs by next December.

The Premier's long-term solution, however, will see water flowing from Tillegra Dam by 2013.
The cost of the ambitious project for Central Coast residents remains unclear.

Mr Campbell said funding for the project would come from new development and developer contributions. A quarter of the projects funding will come from a $20 levy to be paid by Hunter residents from 2009.

The remainder will be recouped by Hunter Water's sale of water to the Central Coast or through commercial arrangements with the Central Coast water authority.

Construction on the dam is expected to start by mid next year, with planning approval taking up to five years and another three to five years for the dam to fill.

"This will not only secure supply for Hunter families, but will ensure the crisis on the Central Coast will not happen again,'' Mr Iemma said. "With the Central Coast's dams standing at only 15 per cent full, and no long-term recovery in sight, now is the time for bold and far-sighted action.''

Brilliant! If it rains, we'll have enough pure drinking water to wash our cars, clean our footpaths, water our gardens...

** My asterisks. Two words Mr Iemma.



Suppose it doesn't rain as you would like it to? The dam isn't going to look like the artist's impression is it.

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