Water security – update and references

Ross Dam
The upper reaches of Ross Dam in November 2014

Between them, the very low level of Ross Dam, TCC’s water restrictions (currently Level 3) and the continuing lack of rain have focused unprecedented attention on Townsville’s water security. At this stage it seems that most people realise there is no single solution – that we will have to approach the problem on several fronts to fix it – but there is little agreement on priorities.

NQCC

NQCC has published four blog posts under the heading NQCC Water Security Series: Continue reading “Water security – update and references”

A Case For a Floating Solar Farm in Townsville’s Ross River Dam

A study on the viability of a Floating Solar Farm on the Ross Dam
A Floating Solar Farm In Japan – Photo by Charles Goodell

This is a guest post by Elly Hanrahan, an intern for the North Queensland Conservation Council. All views expressed are representative of Elly and not necessarily of the NQCC.

Townsville is currently experiencing its driest 11-month period since records began in 1841. With no action on water security from any level of government, desperate residents have formed the newly created Facebook group called ‘Water For Townsville Action Group’ in order to come up with a plan to secure Townsville’s water supply into the future.

At the moment, Townsville City Council is pumping 130 mega litres (ML) of water a day from the Burdekin and at a cost of roughly $27,000 per day. Even whilst pumping at full capacity, the dam level continues to drop with Townsville residents using roughly 1,700L per day- more than eight times the average usage of Brisbane residents. Evaporation also plays a large part in the shortage; given the extraordinary size of the shallow dam, Councillor Paul Jacob confirmed to the Townsville Bulletin that we lose between ‘20 and 40 mega litres per day due to evaporation alone’.

It is obvious that prolonged pumping is not a sustainable solution as it is both expensive and inefficient. Many solutions have been proposed such as duplicating the Haughton pipeline from the Burdekin, desalination systems, recycling plants and the proposed construction of the Hell’s Gate dam. One of the more creative solutions put forward on the Water Action Facebook group was a floating solar panel array on the Ross River Dam itself.

Continue reading “A Case For a Floating Solar Farm in Townsville’s Ross River Dam”

Postcard art exhibition and auction

NQCC postcard art exhibition and auction invitation to artists
Artist: Carol Griffiths

Coal. Sugar. Reef. Magik.

An invitation to submit works for North Queensland Conservation Council’s’s biennial postcard art exhibition held in association with Umbrella Studio.

The postcard art auction is a creative and fun way of raising much-needed funds to enable NQCC to maintain the struggle to protect our precious environment.

After an extended exhibition period (27 Jan – 5 March), all art works will be auctioned (3 March), with funds going to support the work of NQCC.

Please consider a creative contribution!

We also invite artists and supporters to submit new logo ideas for NQCC. We prefer to include an iconic local species, like the snubnose dolphin, and return to our colours of green and ochre. There will definitely be a prize for the best logo idea!

Artworks and logo ideas are due by 20 January 2017.
Deliver to NQCC, 114 Boundary St, Railway Estate, or
Mary Who? Bookshop 414 Flinders St
Please include entry form
The exhibition opens on 27th January, auction is 3 March 2017.

NQCC Postcard Event Invite

Paperbark E-Newsletter December 2016 – Mr Adani Comes to Town

Paperbark-1921-finalWelcome to the final Paperbark for 2016! This month, we are welcoming an intern – Elly Hanrahan, who is studying a Bachelor of Advanced Environmental Science and Global Challenges (Honours). Elly is already proving to be a strong member of our team and is doing great work helping out with campaigns.

In this issue: Mr Adani Visits Townsville – Townsville Port Expansion – Hinchinbrook Island National Park Management Plan – Queensland Environment Roundtable – Postcard Exhibition 2017 & More! Continue reading “Paperbark E-Newsletter December 2016 – Mr Adani Comes to Town”

Part 4 NQCC Water Security Series – How will climate change affect Townsville’s water security?

This, the fourth post in our water security series, began as a response to the first of them, the Townsville Water Discussion Paper, and addresses an issue which none of the first three looked at. Parts 2 and 3 are here and hereThis is a guest post by Malcolm Tattersall. Once again, views expressed are the author’s, not those of NQCC. 

When I read Gail Hamilton’s post six weeks ago I agreed with nearly all of it but noticed a gap which was potentially important, i.e. the impact of climate change on our water security: the ‘Regional Water Supply Security Assessment’ from the Department of Water and Energy Supply (2014) (pdf here), upon which she relied for her ‘current situation’ section, didn’t consider climate change effects at all.

That seemed quite odd to me since we know that climate change is with us already on a global level – that most of the hottest years on record have occurred this century, that desertification is a key driver of conflicts in the Middle East, and that sea level rise is drowning low-lying islands and threatening major cities around the world. Some of us have also been feeling, on a much more local and personal level, that Townsville has been having weaker Wet seasons and hotter summers than ever before, and I happened to know, because I looked at it recently, that Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) data backs up our feelings.

Continue reading “Part 4 NQCC Water Security Series – How will climate change affect Townsville’s water security?”