Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Drought? What drought?

The dams are at 13.5% capacity and heading rapidly emptier. The forecast is, surprise surprise, for below average rainfall.

But that doesn't change the visionary thinking of our policy-makers.

They have a cunning plan. Wait for rain.

Well done! Great strategy! That'll fix the problem.

Here's the story from the Central Coast Express Advocate:

Fight to stave off Level 5

16Jan07

WATER authorities are waging a last-ditch battle to stave off Level 5 water restrictions by March.

Water storage in Central Coast dams is only 13.5 per cent of capacity and has been dropping between 0.1 and 0.3 per cent each week.

With six weeks of summer left the coast is edging towards 12 per cent the trigger point for Level 5 restrictions. This would limit each resident to 130 litres of water a day.

But Gosford Wyong Councils Joint Water Authority hopes increased supply from the Hunter, along with underground pumping and lower than expected consumption, will see the coast `"squeeze through'' until rain arrives.

Rainfall over the dam catchment areas has been scarce this summer. Mangrove Creek Dam received just 4mm of rain last week compared to 24mm this time last year.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted "dryer than average rainfall conditions and warmer than average temperatures'' for the next three months.

The water authority was not expected to consider going to Level 5 restrictions at its monthly meeting at Wyong Council today but it will be on the agenda if dam levels continue to dwindle.
It was also expected to defer a decision to give the go-ahead for temporary desalination plant at Budgewoi Beach until February.

This was despite dire warnings in a report to be tabled at the meeting.

The report stated that surface water flows in the past 12 months were the lowest on record, rainfall had not altered the generally critical water situation and stream flows were at ``critically low'' levels.

At this stage the authority anticipates the first temporary desalination plant on Budgewoi Beach will need to be working by July.

But the authority won't have to give the go-ahead until February.

Authority guidelines state the trigger point for Level 5 restrictions will move to 10 per cent in March in anticipation of autumn rainfall.


Are our policy makers, at local, state and federal level, ever going to realise the seriousness of the situation?

No comments: