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How bad is the drought?

How bad is the drought?

Old Apr 20th 2007, 9:21 pm
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Default How bad is the drought?

Just seen a piece on BBC news about the drought in Aus where they showed a map highlighting the worst hit areas. This included Melbourne where we'd heading in Sept.

It's not putting us off, just wondered what's the deal?
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Old Apr 20th 2007, 9:23 pm
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by M_and_J View Post
Just seen a piece on BBC news about the drought in Aus where they showed a map highlighting the worst hit areas. This included Melbourne where we'd heading in Sept.

It's not putting us off, just wondered what's the deal?
Just watched that meself. Not a nice thing to see but i guess we will be ok heading to cairns

Stu
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Old Apr 20th 2007, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by M_and_J View Post
Just seen a piece on BBC news about the drought in Aus where they showed a map highlighting the worst hit areas. This included Melbourne where we'd heading in Sept.

It's not putting us off, just wondered what's the deal?
Erm where do you begin worst drought in history, some food producing areas have had no rain for up to 7 years, consumers being prepped for food price hikes of 500%, level 5 water restrictions, cant water gardens, wash windows, cars, fill pools in many places now. Irrigation to food producign farms expected to be cut off in eight weeks time. Visually many states have simply browned off, huge areas of dust bowls, riverbeds cracked and dried up, flying into victoria now it looks almost totally brown.

Very bad, very serious and yet you still see posts about how lovely the climate is in OZ

The country is desperate for rain, the solutions to the problem are being discussed way too late and in one bizzare incident the Prime Minsister asked Australians to Pray. Well glad sombody has a solution then
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Old Apr 20th 2007, 10:00 pm
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by stu:0 View Post
Just watched that meself. Not a nice thing to see but i guess we will be ok heading to cairns

Stu
cairns has water now but as it grows there are no new dams being built there will be added pressure on the existing infastructure. when we first arrived in 03 a couple of wet seasons had failed and cairns was in the shit. tinaroo dam down to 23%. it was a sorry sight.i walked up copperlode dam a couple weeks ago and the water was still over the spill way (very nice coffee and scone at the top if anyone ever does it).
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Old Apr 20th 2007, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by M_and_J View Post
Just seen a piece on BBC news about the drought in Aus where they showed a map highlighting the worst hit areas. This included Melbourne where we'd heading in Sept.

It's not putting us off, just wondered what's the deal?
Ive wondered about this too, so just wanted to join in.......... C x
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Old Apr 20th 2007, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Why dont the government use a machine (forgot the actual name) which uses sea water to provide water, but it takes out the salt and cleans it, so it is drinkable? I do believe that Sydney could be building one of these already, and if they are, other cities need to follow quickly.
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Old Apr 20th 2007, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by _Australia View Post
Why dont the government use a machine (forgot the actual name) which uses sea water to provide water, but it takes out the salt and cleans it, so it is drinkable? I do believe that Sydney could be building one of these already, and if they are, other cities need to follow quickly.
The desalination issue here is a political hot potato. Perth have just built a plant, but other states aren't so keen. Same with recycled water. It's not perceived as pure or of a good enough standard (and the costs are touted as being prohibitively expensive). So people prefer to use quality drinking water to wash their clothes and flush the loo.
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Old Apr 20th 2007, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Brisbane has started work on a pipeline to take clean water from sewage plants and pipe it to the head of the dam. Notwithstanding that a lot of the population do not want this because to them, drinking treated recycled water is akin to drinking straight from the toilet - the bigger problem is that it is a major capital work and the water will probably run out well before the pipeline is in place.

At least if we have been on water rationing for a few months people might be a little keener to try the recycled stuff.

The other problem is that you can never recycle 100%, so they will never put in as much as is taken out - so the dam will still continue to empty.

Desalination (using reverse osmosis) also requires major capital expenditure and the plants use a lot of energy. Plus the water has to be pumped up to the dams, or to the users and that is not cheap either.

Basically - what the governments (federal, state and local) are doing is too little too late. Plus, they are all putting in plenty of effort scoring political points off each other and placing blame and basically doing anything except try and fix the bloody problem.

Bearing in mind all of that, for once John Howard is not far off the mark - we should all be praying for rain.

Cheers,

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Old Apr 20th 2007, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

From todays Courier Mail.....

AUSTRALIA could be forced to rely on overseas farmers to feed itself as the nation's food bowl dries up.

Prime Minister John Howard yesterday warned of a national food shortage amid gloomy predictions of a 500 per cent blowout in fruit and vegie prices.

Despite unprecedented national prosperity and wealth, the unrelenting drought is bringing one of the world's largest food producers to its knees.

Mr Howard said Australia would need to import more food unless farmers in the Murray Darling Basin received substantial rain.

"Now we hope that doesn't happen because we always like to see ourselves as being capable of meeting our own food needs," he said.

"But it's a question of rain."

The basin accounts for 34 per cent of Australia's agricultural production, including 75 per cent of irrigated crops and pastures.

Mr Howard announced on Thursday that farmers would be banned from irrigating unless the dire situation quickly improved.

The drastic action, although needed to protect "critical urban water supplies" such as Adelaide's, is likely to trigger a massive increase in the cost of fruit, vegetables, wine and horticultural products.
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Old Apr 21st 2007, 12:00 am
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by jad n rich View Post
Erm where do you begin worst drought in history, some food producing areas have had no rain for up to 7 years, consumers being prepped for food price hikes of 500%, level 5 water restrictions, cant water gardens, wash windows, cars, fill pools in many places now. Irrigation to food producign farms expected to be cut off in eight weeks time. Visually many states have simply browned off, huge areas of dust bowls, riverbeds cracked and dried up, flying into victoria now it looks almost totally brown.

Very bad, very serious and yet you still see posts about how lovely the climate is in OZ

The country is desperate for rain, the solutions to the problem are being discussed way too late and in one bizzare incident the Prime Minsister asked Australians to Pray. Well glad sombody has a solution then
So what are you trying to say to the OP? Don't come?
It could rain in the next few weeks and the crisis will be over. Indications from the bureau are that it will rain.
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Old Apr 21st 2007, 12:07 am
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
So what are you trying to say to the OP? Don't come?
It could rain in the next few weeks and the crisis will be over. Indications from the bureau are that it will rain.
Thats all right, Crisis over then

They predicted storms and heavy rain for Brisbane starting last night and throughout today. Sitting on my very dry balcony this morning drinking coffee and not a drop to be seen, i would not rely on weather forcasters to get us out of this mess.
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Old Apr 21st 2007, 12:16 am
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
So what are you trying to say to the OP? Don't come?
It could rain in the next few weeks and the crisis will be over. Indications from the bureau are that it will rain.

To be fair, if your not living it you can only go by what you read/hear. it sounds ghastly and scarey.

food prices going up, no spare water anywhere.

when you dream oz you dream hot languid days, maybe by a pool, maybe standing under a cold shower to cool off, instead of under a hot shower to warm your tootsies on a cold winter morning (even if you have to go work or get the kids ready for school)

I have been alarmed by the drought coverage, and it is true to an extent. you cannot guarantee the weather. if only the government of the hottest part of the world had had the brains to forward think. ok it may not happen this time, but what about next time when the rains really don't come.

Just forward thinking
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Old Apr 21st 2007, 12:54 am
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

The quickest and simplest solution to the current crisis are water tanks for everyone. Those in the cities worried about contamination/pollution issues can still utilise their tank water for flushing toilets & washing clothes. Australians have managed with tanks for 200 yrs in rural areas like ours.
Every new urban house built could have a dual system installed during construction with the tank constructed either under the house slab or under the driveway. If every home had a minimum of 10,000 gallons of rainwater capacity the reliance on dams and deslal plants would be massively reduced.
Before anyone comes up with the "it needs to rain to fill the tanks" argument, it does rain in sufficient quantities to fill tanks. We're in a drought declared area, our tanks are a little over half full at the moment. We need rain desperately, when it comes thousands of gallons just pour down the downpipes and run onto the roads, this is the run off that can be collected the easiest and simplest way.
As an example Brisbane has level 5 restrictions, the situation there is fast approaching critical. Actual rainfall for Brisbane in the last three months has been in the region of 200mm multiply that by the area of an average sized home and you have 200m² [roof area] X .2m [rainfall] giving 40,000 litres of water that has run down downpipes and away from every household, that's two 5000 gallon tanks full. To put it in perspective that's every drop that us rural households would have to survive on for all our needs, as I said earlier we still have 50% of that left.
To blame Johnny H is ludicrous, it's not his fault it hasn't rained. If he and the state heads had built new dams 7 yrs ago at the start of the drought they would still be empty now. If they had built a few desalination plants and cyclonic rains came and filled the dams they'd have been accused of wasting millions of dollars. For the govt. it's a no win situation. They can now be accused of to little to late, just the same as if rains come they will be accused of spending millions on unnecessary pipelines.
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Old Apr 21st 2007, 1:24 am
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by cresta57 View Post
As an example Brisbane has level 5 restrictions, the situation there is fast approaching critical. Actual rainfall for Brisbane in the last three months has been in the region of 200mm multiply that by the area of an average sized home and you have 200m² [roof area] X .2m [rainfall] giving 40,000 litres of water that has run down downpipes and away from every household, that's two 5000 gallon tanks full. To put it in perspective that's every drop that us rural households would have to survive on for all our needs, as I said earlier we still have 50% of that left.
We have a 12,000 gallon tank which is only half full and we only use it for watering the garden. (Fruit trees and vegies use most of that). It may have rained in parts of Brisbane recently, but not enough here. We had 1/2 mm last night and that made no impact at all. If we don't get more rain, then we'll run out. There's no way that water would fulfill our household needs and we use water sparingly because the septic tank can't take too much at a time.

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Old Apr 21st 2007, 2:09 am
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Default Re: How bad is the drought?

Originally Posted by JaneandJim View Post
We have a 12,000 gallon tank which is only half full and we only use it for watering the garden. (Fruit trees and vegies use most of that). It may have rained in parts of Brisbane recently, but not enough here. We had 1/2 mm last night and that made no impact at all. If we don't get more rain, then we'll run out. There's no way that water would fulfill our household needs and we use water sparingly because the septic tank can't take too much at a time.

Jane
We got about the same amount last night. On the radio on the way home from work they actually said "Hooray everyone its going to rain this evening, the drought's over" WTF! Some of the Aussies at work have the same attitude, that there isn't anything to worry about. Remembering standpipes in the UK in 1976, I'm told here "It won't ever be that bad"
The house next door to The Bloke's mother has actually had its water tank REMOVED as not a necessity.......
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