North south, east west pipe line and droughts

I lived in Townsville for 5 yrs and in that time they let more water go from the Ross river dam each year than out central & western QLD &NSW gets in rain each decade. Not to mention the 10 times that much the leg from the burdikin just south of there. I dumbfounds me still that we cant pipe that west n south army engineers could do the work, since they are getting paid anyway it would only cost the materials. Run all the pipe through farms and pay the farmers in water.
I even bet there would be votes in it!
Use the scheme to teach work for the dole people real skills.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just a closet commie?


Prisoners! Put them to use.

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Every time a pipeline gets discussed the environmental fanatcs come out and no government has had the balls to take them on. There’s [email protected]#kall reason why we couldn’t have an Argyle /Ord scheme over here if a government would put common sense first :rage: :beers:

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Ahh that old chestnut. Don’t kid yourself. If it was truly viable it would have happened by now. There has been many, many viability assessments done, and from an engineering perspective, it just doesn’t stack up. It’s simply not cost effective to push that volume of water that far.

From an ecological perspective, you can say what you like and hang shit on whoever you want, but the reality is such a scheme would just stuff up another river system. I take it you are well aware of the problems in the Murray Darling system? The main approach in the Basin Plan to try to fix a grossly over-regulated river system is more regulation… Perversely, many developed countries are recognising the consequences of river regulation for ecosystem function and are now trying to protect free flowing reaches and remove dams to reinstate longitudinal connectivity. We simply have to move away from the mentality of more regulation will fix it…it wont

Funny how its been so unsuccessful over on the ord that they want to build a major city there. One of the big differences between north qld and the Murray darling is the population density along the system. There’s no reason why it can’t be done with todays engineering tech. Just my opinion :+1::beers:

Can’t agree more.

They have been pumping it from Perth to Kalgoorlie for about 100 years.

For large scale irrigation?

It’s not about if it can be done, of course it can be done. We can put a man on the moon and probably on Mars! . The real question issue is, can you deliver the volumes of water required for large scale irrigation at a $per ML cost that is economically viable, in a region capable of growing market desirable crops at a water use efficiency that makes good business sense ?

In the Murray-Darling system the cost per ML shifts depending on the type of licence, and the availability of water within the system. During periods of low water availability prices go up, and irrigators go to the wall. The market margin for irrigators is always very narrow, and sometimes they can’t even get a return on investment given the low price paid and the input costs required to produce the crop.

The next issue is ecological ramifications of moving that sort of volume out of a river system. You might believe it’s all hocum, and that’s fine. I don’t. Here’s a parallel issue. As LAFO we are sick of laws being passed based on ideological positions and decisions that might win votes rather than changes in gun laws being made on hard evidence of positive changes to community safety…When it comes to river regulation, the hard evidence is that pulling large volumes of water out of river systems, and imparting control on flow is detrimental to ecosystem function, something that as a hunter and person that spends time in the outdoors probably should appreciate. If your ideology supports river regulation then don’t complain when you realise the river you love is now stuffed. Decisions based on ideology rather than evidence never lead to a good outcome

I don’t think so. Just for drinking when the beer runs out. I guess the mining industry would use some too.

Yeah, built specifically for the gold mines at a cost that would make your toes curl up. I’d hate to think what it would cost to build today.

Then why is the area I live in which is a large scale irrigation area for all kinds of produce not stuffed.
Its fed by a dam that had it not been in place many of the folk around here that managed to hold on til this years rain would’ve gone under. I tend to base my views on what I see with my own eyes. :beers:

For the Ross river in Townsville, which is the only one I can really speak too. You have the dam right on the edge of town, then a series of weirs then the sea, all in a very short distance. The river there is already over regulated but in the wet season the usually have to release that much water that it floods low lying parts of town.
Even if just the excess water from there was moved in land it would really help I reckon.
I believe the burdekin river would be the same, they release metric shĂ·t tins of water out of there.
If the just sent water inland when it was in excess instead of constantly like they do with the murray I can’t see how it could hurt

We could just cull the farmers like we do with the roos and stuff in hard years

That all depends on your metric of what is good and what is stuffed

Im not sure what area you are talking about, but if the dam wasn’t there, the farmers probably wouldn’t be there at all?

I’ve seen first hand the heartache that farmers suffer during the droughts in the Darling, Lachlan and Murray system. If you think creating a false sense of water security by building bigger dams and longer pipelines is the solution then your ignoring history. Whats more, you clearly have a different view of a what comprises a healthy river system and what constitutes responsible use of natural resources. Building new dams and pipelines is not the solution that will help us adapt and cope with climate change.


I guess we just see things different .:grin:
Enough hijacking the thread apologies to the op

I ve given this its own topic :+1:

Good call. Thanks and yes, sorry to the OP

Beat me to it by minutes…

Putting aside all the complex issues of existing properties, livelihoods, etc; isn’t it a better idea to move agriculture to more suitable areas than try to turn inhospitable land arable?

Or, what about systems used overseas, where they use large scale desal to irrigate and gigantic greenhouses to retain humidity?

Beats ruining our precious river systems!!!

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That’s just it…we don’t need to ruin our rivers. As I said it’s been done up here and the Barron is not stuffed.
There’s also many places (my own block included) where dams have been built miles from a waterway and used rainfall and runoff to fill them.

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