more dams … or damning the Greens

More dams are on the agenda for the coalition opposition. TYhis will please those who live in flood prone towns along the East coast. Tim Blair writes, Let’s get building:

Up to 100 dams could be built across the country to prevent floods, fuel power stations and irrigate a food boom to feed 120 million people across the Asia Pacific region, under plans being considered by Opposition leader Tony Abbott …

The majority of the dams would be in northern Australia, where they would be used to irrigate arid zones for agriculture and more than double Australia’s food production.

Claiming the environmental lobby had been to blame for the lack of new water infrastructure, the report from the Coalition’s water taskforce endorses a major dam-building program to “help feed 120 million people and beyond over the coming decades”.

Further in today’s editorial.

David Archibald has put in time for a Kimberley multi-dam proposal last year here:

 Here  is the latest proposal by David Archibald put out for comment on Warwick Hughes blog.

Possible Kimberley region nation building dam projects

February 5th, 2012 by Warwick Hughes

The purpose of this post is to draw attention to the Durack Development web page of David Archibald and to promote some discussion.
We know that much of the West Kimberley region in Western Australia gets over a metre of warm season rain per year and total river outflows are listed at a huge 80,000GL PA. So is it feasible to build dams and grow irrigated crops in the Kimberley’s on this scale – in the face of modern day Green anti – damism, backed by serial ranks of publically funded kneejerk PC naysayers and then at the back of all that – native title issues.

For full size map.
What could viable Kimberley irrigation projects mean in terms of northern development and net national income. I wonder what is the best structure to attempt this – would private investors stump up the capital once the multitude of project approvals was obtained.
Link here for docs outlining the West Kimberley Grain Project and other potential WA projects.
The Ord River Irrigation Area in the East Kimberley is an interesting case history and there must be many lessons there.

1972 : Australian Scientists Said We Would Starve Before 2000

Andrew Bolt has a whole lot more: 208 comments  |

Grain silo built in the late '60s in Broome, never used for grain

Grain silo built in the late ’60s in Broome, never used for grain

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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