News & Discussion: Water Infrastructure

Threads relating to transport, water, etc. within the CBD and Metropolitan area.
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omada
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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#16 Post by omada » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:55 pm

Water restrictions are completely fair enough in my opinion, my partner and I are have a vege garden at the moment, luckily we have a watertank fed only off the garage roof (but it is full at the moment, despite a very dry August), we use no mains water at all to water our garden, fingers crossed how long out tank will last. If we had just one more tank, we would easily have enough rain water for the year.

As for our ornamental garden, we chose species that are appropriate for our landscape, we live in Australia! Hence, grasses, succulents and other plantings..

BTW, I saw on the news last week, the SA Govt are building a 30km pipeline from the sewage works at Glenelg North to recycle the water for use in the parklands.. apparently will save 4billion litres of water per year (pls don't quite me on that!) - what an awesome project!

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#17 Post by stelaras » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:56 pm

rhino wrote: How come backyard swimming pools are still being given the green light by planning authorities?
In an established home in order to get a green light for a pool one needs to prove that the dwelling saves water. In a new home the owners would have to have storage tanks/bladders for water so that their home becomes a dedicated water saving home. Further the pool will need to be designed such that storm water collected from rainfall is used to directly top up the pool, with the appropriate storm water drain to divert water to bladders/tanks to avoid flooding.

I only know about this as a went to this seminar yesterday. Pools are not for me (too much work to maintain), i prefer to use that time saved in maintaining the pool to go the beach

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#18 Post by ozfoto » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:10 pm

rhino wrote:I heard some interesting things on ABC Radio this morning about our water restrictions.


Irrigators use 80% of SA's water, a lot of it inefficiently. Households use 9%, but are being restricted, basically, "to be fair to irrigators".
I wonder where this 9% figure came from? I have heard various people quote figures around that mark, but according to the SA Water website the figures are: Residential 45%, Primary Industry 28%, Public purposes 17%, Industry 10%.

Does anybody know what the 'real' values are?

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#19 Post by Redback20 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:37 pm

Apparently SA Water/govt will rebate you $400 off a water tank.... but only if its plumbed into the house, eg. toilets. So for me who planned on putting 2 or 3 into my backyard to source the maintenance of my garden, I just can't afford the expense without subsidy given the current high price of water tanks... so i'll just have to pay a little higher water bills and my usage will increase despite my best intentions.

Which is absolute nonsense, water saved is water saved however you look at it.

I recently looked into (and decided against) a pool... to get SA Water approval you only needed a solar blanket to prevent evaporation... I guess the theory being once full, a pool or spa doesnt need much topping up?

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#20 Post by stelaras » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:59 pm

Redback20 wrote: I recently looked into (and decided against) a pool... to get SA Water approval you only needed a solar blanket to prevent evaporation... I guess the theory being once full, a pool or spa doesnt need much topping up?
Wow im surprised that it is that lenient in SA..There are a whole host of things (see above post) that are needed for most other states. Just goes back to my post from earlier on, governments must legislate toughter requirements or else we will run out of water at some point in time in the future and have no choice but to drink recycled and DeSal water.

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#21 Post by rhino » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:36 pm

From today's Adelaide Now:

JOANNA VAUGHAN, POLITICAL REPORTER
August 27, 2007 03:30pm

THE State Government agreed to a secret deal which locked South Australian gardeners into bucket-only watering restrictions back in April this year, the State Opposition claims.

Water Security Minster Karlene Maywald said she was not able to negotiate to allow the use of drippers due to the outcome of talks between state and federal officials in April.

"We were knocked back on a range of issues that we wanted to incorporate this year," she told ABC radio.

"South Australia was successful in getting 60 gigalitres – that's 60 billion litres of water – advanced pumped into the Adelaide Hills.

"We also have an agreement that we will receive 141 gigalitres for critical urban needs on the basis that that water is heavily restricted to include no outside watering. But unfortunately we were not able to negotiate drippers."

Opposition Leader Martin Hamilton-Smith said the admission had undermined the Government's rhetoric on water restrictions.

"Minister Maywald has been telling South Australia that water restrictions are reviewed on a month-by-month basis," he said.

"Today we hear that Adelaide gardeners have been locked into carting buckets following a secret deal in April this year.

"Gardeners already angry over being forced to cart water in buckets will be infuriated with the latest revelations that it could have been avoided."

Mr Hamilton-Smith said gardeners were already working around the ban on sprinklers by filling up buckets with holes in them and hanging them up.

Under the current water restrictions – enhanced level 3 restrictions – the use of household sprinklers, hoses and watering systems, including drippers and any watering of lawns, is banned, but buckets and watering cans can be used to water trees, shrubs and plants.
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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#22 Post by Bulldozer » Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:07 am

Water restrictions are complete bullshit, and Rann's lack of action over the years is just appalling and beyond belief. Fuck everything else, it's the single biggest issue facing SA and unless there are massive rains in the top of the Murray Darling catchment soon to fill up the storage dams, we're beyond the point of no return as the dams are at a lower level than they were this time last year and inflows are 25% below average.

I've been following the water crisis for years now as I have a big interest in it seeing as my family has been operating a plant nursery for over 60 years. It's only a few weeks away from closing and having a few hundred thousand dollars worth of stock that's taken a few years of hard work to grow be bulldozed into a heap. People aren't buying plants because of government scaremongering. Another nursery nearby is in the process of winding up and a number of other nurseries and garden centres have already closed up.

All this talk of rainwater tanks is bullshit. The only good they do is take pressure off the stormwater system. (1mm of rain is 1L per square metre.) They are by no means cost effective compared to mains. Greywater was banned for a reason - it's a health hazard. Domestic sewage treatment has been around for years - we used to have a "SuperTreat" system, but when sewers were installed we hooked into them because the system cost hundreds per year to run, most of that being the need for a qualified technician to service the system quarterly and submit an annual report to council. You also need to have the sludge tank pumped every few years too. We need large scale recycling... it's a hell of a lot more cost-effective.

The water restriction rules are a farce, just like the enforcement. Like the media folks said - you can't water your vege patch or fruit trees but you can have a spa bath every night or a 1 hour shower if you feel like it. You can use your sprinklers once a week during the night, so people turn on the sprinkler thinking "better give it a good soaking to get through the week" then go to bed. I won't bother to recall the tragically pathetic experience the nursery went through to acquire an exemption permit and the conditions attached. Think of the TV show Yes Minister on an acid trip.

If storage levels upstream don't dramatically increase soon, is Rann going to choose between keeping irrigated plantings in the Riverland alive or allowing people to have 1 hour showers in Adelaide? My bet is that the showers will win and we'll all be fucked for the next decade or longer paying through the nose for substandard imported fruit and veg. This will happen because Rann is too concerned about building his Marj Tahal, etc. than tackling and fixing the single most important issue and biggest threat facing SA.

SA needs to severly reduce dependence upon the Murray for potable water. A moratorium on urban expansion should have been enacted years ago until a desalination plant could be built as an emergency backup and stop-gap solution while a large-scale storm and wastewater harvesting project is built. Fuck greenhouse gasses and brine - we need water to live, and we can only cut back so much before growth eats up the savings.

The vast majority of people just have no idea whatsoever about how big a crisis this is. The collapse of the nursery and garden industry is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#23 Post by stelaras » Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:00 am

DOZER

I agree with some of your points, very well thought out and constructed.

Im amazed that stage three water restiroctions in SA allow grass to be watererd!

I think though that on residential level tanks will alleviate some of the strain, by reducing the amount water that flows into the gulf as stormwater. Similarly, i think that if every home had grey water treatment plant, it would also help. These should be subsidised by the government at state or federal level.

However, you are absolutely correct in you summary of makor infrastructure works that the governments should have acted upon years ago. We should have had a dam built to "drought proof" us and to limit the dependence on the murray. We should have had DeSal plants being built years ago and we should have begun to impliment storm water catchment projects to maximise the amount of water collected.

It is a shame that industries such as nurseries/garden/landscaping will suffer and it is a bigger shame that our primary produce growers will be forced to shut up shop, or produce fruit and veg that is substandard or not enough to cater for demand. The reliance of O/S fruit/veg has always been an issue and unfortunately it will only get worse

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#24 Post by Norman » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:11 am

I don't know if this has been mentioned here, but the Government is cuttently building a pipeline to the City to transport grey or recycled water to the parklands, which will be used to water the parklands. Hopefully this will take some pressure off our water supply.

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#25 Post by jimmy_2486 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:58 am

I heard about that. Sound good that idea.

Couldnt we somehow grab all our wastage heading towards the gulf and redirect it to the farmers and those industries who use bulk water?

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#26 Post by stelaras » Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:26 pm

jimmy_2486 wrote:I heard about that. Sound good that idea.

Couldnt we somehow grab all our wastage heading towards the gulf and redirect it to the farmers and those industries who use bulk water?

we probably can..but it would cost billions to build the infrastucture required

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#27 Post by skyliner » Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:03 pm

I agree with you bulldoxer concerning a desal plant. It is the only reliable mass supply producer of water in drought. Desal would alleviate reliance on the Murray - at present not getting much water from the east. Sure desal water would cost more and there are some environmental issues as well as a big power drag, but in the end it is water or no water. SA, being the driest state in the driest continent, should make desal a priority.

What is happening with the desal plant proposed for Olympic Dam - presumably to be built on northern Spencer gulf? My suggestion is to work with the mine owners to make the plant big enough and able to supply Adelaide as well, with state government financial input and planning. You don't want what has been happening in Brisbane, where the government was proposing owning all water in private rainwater tanks andselling it back - how desperate can you get - especially after providing the very same owners with rebates to get tanks in the first place. Brisbane reached 16% dam levels recently when this proposal cccurred. Like Adelaide, action was left too long, but at least something IS happening now.

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#28 Post by jimmy_2486 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:43 am

stelaras wrote:
jimmy_2486 wrote:I heard about that. Sound good that idea.

Couldnt we somehow grab all our wastage heading towards the gulf and redirect it to the farmers and those industries who use bulk water?

we probably can..but it would cost billions to build the infrastucture required
Well its not like a luxury project, we would need something like this if we were to ensure we have sufficient water in our state. Or in ANY state for that matter. Problem is with this country is we waste too much water.

I mean wouldn't we be spending billions on desal plants?

Really its gonna cost us billions to implement any idea to save our water solution, and this would be a very enviromentally friendly idea. Federal Government should start kicking butt and step in to help us all out.

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#29 Post by stelaras » Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:24 am

Areas in QLD were looking at major water collections systems to maximise capture of rainwater.... The sums were around 8-10 billion dollars for a very small area of QLD. To do that over a nation will cost heaps but importantly it will take many many years to achieve. We don't have that much time on our hands!

Therefore a De-sal plant ranging in cost from 500M to 2Billion (depending on size) appears a cheaper option

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Re: Fairer water restrictions

#30 Post by jeffem » Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:57 pm

The Federal Government recently announced a 17 billion surplus, some of which was a complete surprise.

Why couldn't they give each state 1 billion for a desal plant and help towards alleviating this serious situation.
We could put a desal plant in the Victor Harbor area & pipe into Mount Bold. The River Murray could then be left for the growers in the riverland.

Is this too simple?
What we need is polititions with balls! Thank goodness we were not relying on this present lot of Pollies to approve the Snowy River Scheme??

Jeffem

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