Below is an Article from The Age newspaper today outlining the problem with the current water plan. Woof.
Utilities are wasting our precious water
The canard concludes that we need a $3.1 billion desalination plant.
In reality, Victorians are saving lots of water but the responsible utilities waste it faster.
The desalination plant is intended to serve
The plant will consume enough electricity to run a town and produce an estimated 1 million tonnes of atmospheric carbon each year. It will be greenwashed by robbing every iota of wind energy now produced in
The desalination plant is designed to produce 150 gigalitres — 150 billion litres — of drinking water each year. It will extract about 400 gigalitres of sea water and return about 250 gigalitres in a plume of concentrated brine. Each day the plant will also produce about three semi-trailer loads of contaminated salt for burial.
Consumers will foot the bill, but the plant's public institutional proponents are not compelled to reciprocate with innovation or accountability. Discarded water volumes could potentially double planned water augmentation without going near a desalination plant.
For example, 116 gigalitres of drinking water is used to cool
The Melbourne Water Corporation sends almost 300 gigalitres of partially treated waste water into Bass Strait each year even though the water could be recycled for
It is thinking that belongs to the era when the Yarra was a sewer and the
Meanwhile, ordinary consumers shower with buckets while their gardens wilt and water prices rise.
Some influential water industry leaders are now predicting that the proposed desalination plant and the new
The desalination plant will be built as a public-private partnership and its owners will pay about a third more interest on their loans compared with government borrowings. The cost of operation and investment return could reach $500 million a year, in a contract that would typically bind taxpayers for 30 years or more.
Such contracts usually operate on a take-or-pay basis. The owners might even demand compensation if water consumption is reduced by government strategies, and this will see new and spurious justifications for buying water.
Desalination costs will rise as arid nations compete for expertise, and as
The desalination decision was made by former State Government leaders apparently seduced by big spending rather than big thinking around demand management.
Ironically, Australians are highly amenable to the cultural shifts demanded by the climate crisis. A recent Lowy Institute survey showed that 92% of Australians want to see the climate change tackled seriously and almost 70% of Australians are accepting of the necessary investment. If provided with knowledge rather than propaganda, Victorians are capable of embracing a strategy that better captures rainfall, reduces squandering by utilities and provides industry with an option to use recycled water.
In the interim, Victorians should take a leisurely drive to Wonthaggi and prepare for the delight of a lifetime as they crest the gentle hill at Kilcunda. Here, the drab grazing land gives way to a seascape that is simply glorious. From 2009 that scene will be violated by bulldozers building a de facto carbon factory.
It is an ecological blasphemy that will plague us for a lifetime.
Tony Cutcliffe is a director of policy forum and consultancy The