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Are we the Clever Country?: November 2009

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

An Answer to the Long Dry Spell

Thanks to the efforts of Australian research teams led by Dr. Caroline Ummenhofer & Professor Matthew England of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre, it now appears that an explanation has been found for Australian long-term droughts. 

This weather phenomenon is known as The Indian Ocean Dipole.   Climate observations from over 100 years, extending back to the Federation Drought, were analysed for this study.

Significantly, The Indian Ocean Dipole [IOD] is the dominant weather pattern over the Southern parts of Australia - relegating the El Nino and La Nina events to a secondary role.

Note that Northeast NSW and Southeast QLD regions are affected during BOTH phases of the IOD cycle.  
This is bad news for residents and holidaymakers.  It will have major impacts on water, infrastructure and planning, well into the future.

Further details of this research are provided, courtesy of Bob Beale at the Faculty of Science, on the University of NSW website, link below;


Monday, 16 November 2009

Dry Spell Continues -- Fire Threat Increases


"The fiery debate continues over how to best secure our water future. Meanwhile, we remain firmly in the grip of the on-going drought.
Bushfires are sure to become a very real danger in the coming summer months unless we soon get rain.

Peter Garrett's Ruling - For the Environment


"Peter Garrett stops the Traveston Crossing Dam -- a massive problem for the QLD State Government, reported to have spent $598 Million before securing a green-light from the Commonwealth Government. 

We still haven't fixed the underlying issue - a chronic lack of water in an already dessicated landscape.

The Mary River eco-system had to be saved - a significant natural riverine habitat.  There are the historic communities and the fertile farmland too - productive land - a raritity in our increasingly harsh Australian Environment.

Where to next?

Dams are out!  Could Desalination be the only reliable way to secure our water future?

What would you do if you were running the current Queensland Government?

Saturday, 7 November 2009

An Alternative to the Traveston Crossing Dam - A paper entitled "Traveston Crossing - Dam Solution or White Elephant?"

This proposal provides a viable alternative to building the Traveston Crossing Dam.
The paper is entitled "Traveston Crossing - Dam Solution or White Elephant?"

It is not simply a plan to secure water for our future, as it also fits within a larger framework - for example, this plan;

1. Incorporates the new weather phenomenon findings, published in February 2009, that explain 120 years of drought in Eastern Australia - including SE QLD.

2. Details a more efficient and cost-effective alternative - the distillation plant should have a maximum cost of less than $1.0 Billion - estimated savings of over $500 Million can then be used for other projects.

3. Provides a turn-key solution for guaranteed water - independent of weather, and/or the immediate requirement for another Reverse Osmosis Desalination plant that is close to the coast and subject to threat from sea-level rises - other similar sized plants take about 18 months - maximum.

4. Prevents the loss of fertile farmland - at a time when farming foodbowls elsewhere are under threat from climate issues.

5. Short-circuits all 1,200 conditions and environmental controversies over current Dam proposal - no wasted administration costs to police such conditions.

6. Follows common-sense principles enabling clearly defined outcomes.

7. NO BRINE waste by-product will be pumped back into Moreton Bay - yes, you read that correctly - No waste by-product to create further environmental damage.

The Big Picture element chain incorporates all of the following;
+ Natural Sequence Farming
+ Cogenerative Desalination - Distillation using waste heat from a power station.
+ Reforestation
+ Erosion Control & Prevention
+ Recharge Parched Rivers & Aquifers - east and west of the Great Dividing range
+ Flush the Brisbane River system
+ Reduce Moreton Bay pollution
= A sustainable plan for the future

Traveston Crossing - Dam Solution or White Elephant?