The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Toowoomba's Deputy Mayor tries to scare residents about water ...

Since 2005, Councillors have been using scare tactics about Toowoomba running out of water.

It was supposed to run out by Christmas 2005.

It didn't.

Now it's Deputy Mayor Antonio's turn.

He seems to think that the GAB supplies are going to dry up.

The article also implies that bore water use is just commencing.

To some in Toowoomba on bore water for quite some time, this will be a bit of a surprise.

Sunday Mail:

Toowoomba taps into bore water as drought continues

20 September 2009

The town that rejected recycled water has been forced to tap into an emergency allocation of bore water while it waits for a lifesaving pipeline connecting Wivenhoe Dam to the region's water supply.

While Toowoomba was in full bloom as it celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Carnival of Flowers yesterday, away from the festivities the region continued to bake in a decade-long drought, with dam levels falling to a critically low 9.8 per cent.

In a sign of the desperate times, the Toowoomba Regional Council Deputy Mayor, Paul Antonio, said the town was now pumping water from an emergency allocation from the Great Artesian Basin.

It comes three years after residents rejected a recycled water referendum when dam levels were over 23 per cent.

Now Australia's second largest inland city, with a regional population of more than 150,000, will come within a few months of its dams running completely dry as the State Government works to complete a 38km pipeline from Wivenhoe to Cressbrook Dam.

The much-needed pipeline will be able to pump 14,200 million litres of water annually - more than 50 per cent above present demand - when it is completed by the end of January next year.

"Without this pipeline, the water situation for Toowoomba is grim," Infrastructure and Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.

To make matters worse, consumption per resident increased to 129 litres a day last week, compared with 120 litres in the same period last year, as residents grow weary of the long dry and strict level 5 water restrictions. The region's three dams, Perseverance, Cooby and Cressbrook, hold a maximum storage capacity of 135,074ML, but only about 12,3362ML remains, of which 8523ML is classified as "dead storage", or unable to be used.

Mr Antonio estimated without any further supplementation the dams would run dry by June. The council had thought that by mid 2010 "we would be in deep trouble for water", he said.

But it could be worse, Mr Antonio admitted, saying there was uncertainty about just how much water was usable.

See - Sunday Mail - Toowoomba taps into bore water as drought continues.

Desperate times?

Clearly not desperate enough to prevent the Council from supplying bore water to the Carnival of Flowers Garden Competition entrants.

And if the Wivenhoe pipeline will be finished in January 2010, why is there any need for Deputy Mayor Antonio to try to whip residents into a panic by saying the water will run out by June.

He's just not making sense ...


Blogger Concerned Ratepayer said...

Mayor Peter Taylor is clearly not worried about the drought and the water running out:

ABC News excerpt (19 September 2009):

"So we've got ... fantastic weather following a bit of rain a few weeks ago, the gardens are looking magic."

10:20 AM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Antonio - 1. Toowoomba is a city, not a town. 2. Bore water has been in use for some time. 3. Do you know how large the GAB reserves are? 4. The council has been saying the water will run out for years. 5. Between the water poll in 2006 and 2008, the council did nothing about finding an alternative. 6. We're all tired of the scare tactics.

10:37 AM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Antonio has told residents that they have 2 more GAB bore to go down and we are only pumping one at present and it is going into Cooby Dam.
This story clearly shows that he knows nothing about water and why should he as he is being advised my Kevin Bloody Flanagan!!!

1:12 PM, September 20, 2009

Blogger Concerned Ratepayer said...

It is morally reprehensible for the Toowoomba Regional Council to be still trying to scare Toowoomba residents three years after the demise of the white elephant recycled water project.

If the Wivenhoe pipeline is to be completed in January next year, there is no need for Antonio's comments.

It was always odd that the main players were so adamant that their recycled water project was the best thing for the people of Toowoomba.

Remember that it was never originally intended to put the recycled water plant contract out to tender. It was to be added as an extension on an existing contract to the consortium being used at the time.

Given the approach of the main players, it is hard to believe that there was never a nod and a wink from one of the consortium members about future consulting roles being handed out upon the successful completion of the project.

Fortunately, the people never bought the lies and deception.

1:44 PM, September 20, 2009

Blogger Concerned Ratepayer said...

Read the comments on the Courier Mail story - Courier Mail comments

2:29 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are a priviliged carnival gardener you seem to get this never ending supply of bore water compliments of the council.

But as poor homeowners are being penalised for living this city and getting such large charges for water access, which a lot of us don't use that much of, doesn't make sense. Maybe we all need to become carnival gardeners and have masses of water trucked to us, and have beautiful gardeners. I for one have stopped planting the annuals because of the drought, my garden could look beautiful again if I entered in the carnival of flowers.

Also the council needs to clarify if the increase in water charges is going to be back dated. What about people who have sold properties and had the water bills squared up at settlement, if I had just bought a property I would be hoping mad to have pay for the previous owners water bill. This council just doesn't put any thought into what it does.

2:36 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes no sense to tell the newspapers we're running out of water but lavish it on the Carnival gardens. Either there is a crisis or there isn't!

2:53 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any property conveyance should have a rates and water charges adjustment on settlement. It's standard to apportion costs to the date of settlement.

5:09 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No-one has indicated the water access charge will be backdated.

5:25 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you think that they will read the water metres twice.
To have the correct cost they would have had to read the metres up until July when they changed the cost of water and reread them now when the water rates are due.
Can any-one clear this up as quite a few of us have asked the question of the Deputy Mayor and so far there has not been an answer!

6:03 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy for the buyer. They'll say they are responsible from date of settlement onwards and any argument about between July and settlement is for the seller to argue with the council.

6:40 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three years on and emotions still run high.

6:51 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

Brisbane Times:

Toowoomba bloomin' lovely with Carnival of Flowers

September 20, 2009

Despite more than 10 years of drought the city of Toowoomba looks "absolutely magnificent" for its 60th Carnival of Flowers.

Toowoomba Regional Council’s Joe Ramia along with thousands of locals and visitors lined the streets for yesterday’s Grand Central Floral Parade including 120 entries of floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, horses and cars.

Cr Ramia said the only condition of entering the parade was that you had to own a water tank and 75 per cent of residents had at least one. "We’ve been suffering severe drought for six years and 10 or 11 years of normal drought" he said. "But the town looks absolutely magnificent because we’ve all learnt to live with the restrictions and use water wisely."

He said the State Government and the council were spending $187 million to lay pipes from Wivenhoe Dam to the city’s Cressbrook Dam and water would be available to locals from the new infrastructure around January.

"Once we get water pumped up here restrictions might ease but people have learnt to be very careful and I don’t think anyone will be wasting it," he said.

7:20 PM, September 20, 2009

Blogger Peter R. Smith OAM said...

Water – emotions running high, well there running high all over the world as people die horrible deaths, once this was the smart country well maybe it should be called the land of stick our heads in the sand. Water the most valuable resource on this planet and potable water is not an infinite resource.
The Great Artesian Basin is NOT an infinite resource of potable water.
Living near the River Murrays' mouth which no longer opens we realise the value of what we don't have enough of SA Water is now readying itself to supply bottled water to communities who can no longer access water of less than 1400ec. Your turn will obviously come. Good luck.

7:41 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:44 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous researcher said...

Peter R Smith is one of Al Gore's climate change presenters. Enough said.

7:48 PM, September 20, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's enough GAB supplies Mr Smith to last Toowoomba until the drought breaks. What has people supposedly dying horrible deaths around the world got to do with Toowoomba's water supplies? Get real.

7:51 PM, September 20, 2009


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