Water is a natural occurring resource and is essential to life so the management of water is extremely important in a huge island continent as Australia with the huge dry areas that we have; which can be subject to flooding from time to time. The flooding can be by massive rain storms or by water moving over the lower-lands from rain that has fallen hundreds of kilometres away.
The past policy of damming a river and then pumping the water to towns and cities has caused huge damage to our rivers and our farming communities. The farming communities need their valuable water to grow our foods and other products that are consumed by the residents of this country. While most of the Australian population live on the coastal fringe and consume the majority of the produce from the farms and water from our rivers. In our cities often we have water features and swimming pools while the farmers are struggling to have water for their farming activities as well as insufficient water left in our rivers for the marine life and birds and animals to survive. Our country has many dry areas that do not get annual rainfall but will get a huge amount of rain over a short period of time every several years.
The issue is how to manage the water as the chances of increasing rain fall is not very high. Water in storage areas suffer from evaporation where so much is lost annually and this can be reduced as a % of stored water, so if we increase the depth of the dams, and so we must, systematically begin to create deeper dams to decrease the % of evaporation losses over the stored capacity of each dam.
The health of our rivers is important to marine life and the native animals and birds and so as to decrease our impact on health of our rivers we must commence a program of establishing off river dams. This will be difficult in many areas where the river is already dammed though we can work with plans to divert the river flow around the dams that we have built so as to let the rivers flow where ever possible. All new dams that will be built must be off river dams. In some of the areas where huge mining voids have been created, we could consider the lining of these voids with clay so as they will be able to hold water and then a diversion culvert connecting that to a river will over time enhance our water storage and hence increase our stored water supply.
From time-to-time certain areas will flood and hence the inter-connectedness of dams and rivers could be a sensible way to reduce the effects of flooding and at the same time enhance the storage of water as well supporting the other areas that may be suffering from lack of rain fall. This can be managed by reducing water in storage in areas of expected flooding by releasing water to dryer areas via a system of connections between storage dams and rivers. This will have a two-fold effect as we harvest more of the river excesses of water flow and reduce the effects of flooding on vulnerable communities.
Mining and other industries that use considerable amounts of water and if it is wise, as far as possible, that recycled water be used so as to conserve good quality river and ground water for both food production and for the general population to use.
Some towns are subject to serious flooding on a regular basis and assessments need to be made as to if it is wise to leave the town there. Infrustructure damage as well as damage to personal property damage must not continue as this is a very destructive and costly path that we have been sitting on for many years. If the towns cannot be protected, assesament must be carried out to determine if it is most wise to move the community to less floodable areas.
- Water must be protected and cared for
- Plans to inter-connect all dams and rivers over time
- All future dams need to be off river dams
- Rivers need to have a healthy flow
- Flood prone towns that cannot be protected from flood waters will need to consider re-locating