Water Journal : Water Journal May 2011
crosscurrent 16 MAY 2011 water regular features the gardens, treat it through the wetlands and then store it in an underlying aquifer. The State Government has contributed $5.35 million to the project, while the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board has also contributed $450,000. The South Australian Government is monitoring the River Murray between Mannum and Wellington to determine the impacts of acid drainage water which has been discharged from some salt drains. Acid water has been detected at nine salt drains in the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area and further drains are currently undergoing testing. The acid drainage water is likely to be a result of the unprecedented low river levels during the recent prolonged and severe drought. The Government in South Australia has commenced a process to account for water demands and supplies in the Northern and Yorke region of the state, including consideration of the impacts of climate change and population growth. It will set a baseline of regional water resources and the demands upon it; take stock of all water resources for drinking and non- drinking purposes; the current and projected future demands on these resources; and the likely timing of any possible future demand-supply imbalance. Adjunct Professor Don Bursill, AM, has been appointed South Australia's new Chief Scientist. As Chief Scientist, he will help to raise the State's Research and Development profile and ensure research and development capabilities support important and emerging industry sectors such as health, resources, defence and agriculture. Professor Bursill is the Chair of the Ozwater'11 committee. Work has commenced to remove the remaining section of the bund in the Narrung Narrows in South Australia in order to fully reconnect Lake Albert with Lake Alexandrina for the first time in three years. Removing this temporary structure is expected to further help reduce salinity levels in Lake Albert by restoring natural flows from Lake Alexandrina. The bund was built at the height of the drought in the Murray-Darling Basin in March 2008, when record low inflows saw the water level in the lakes and Goolwa Channel fall to around a metre below sea level. Enhanced Level 3 Water Restrictions in place across the Eyre Peninsula have now ended and been replaced with Water Wise Measures. Improved recharge into the region's Southern Groundwater Basins and lower water usage by SA Water customers has led to an improvement in the region's current water situation. Water consumption in 2010 in the Eyre Peninsula community is almost one gigalitre lower when compared to 2009. Eminent hydrologist Dr Tony Minns has been appointed first Director of the $50 million Goyder Institute for Water Research. Dr Minns is a graduate of the University of South Australia who has pursued a career in water in Europe since 1985. Victoria A Monash University graduate has designed a sustainable water purification device that can produce up to three litres of clean water every day. The 'Solarball' absorbs sunlight and causes dirty water contained inside to evaporate. As evaporation occurs, contaminants are separated from the water, generating drinkable condensation. The condensation is collected and stored, ready for drinking. The product was designed to help the 900 million people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water. The final section of pipeline for the $650 million Northern Sewerage Project has been installed 64 metres underground. The new infrastructure will increase the capacity of the sewerage system for Melbourne's northern suburbs, ensuring the sewerage system keeps pace with the expected population growth in the suburbs. The Victorian Government has announced that Melbourne will remain on Stage 2 water restrictions in order to give dams in the region a better chance to recover without impacting severely on Melbourne water users. Many storages around the state have recovered significantly in the last few months; however Melbourne's dams are still only a little more than half full. New South Wales The NSW Government has donated $1 million to Japan's Disaster Relief Appeal following this month's devastating earthquake and tsunami. "Anyone who saw the shocking pictures out of Japan could not feel anything but sorrow and despair for its people," said NSW Premier Mr Barry O'Farrell. Water will be incorporated into the Department of Primary Industries instead of having its own ministry in the new Liberal State Government cabinet. Katrina Hodgkinson has been appointed to the role of Minister for Primary Industries and Water, and her portfolio covers water and environment issues that relate to primary industries. Northern Territory Residents of Alice Springs are being urged to cut water use through a $15 million plan that aims to drive smarter, more efficient use of water in homes, businesses, parks and gardens. The Alice Water Plan project will increase water recycling, provide additional rebates and retrofits for customers and encourage the installation of smart water meters to allow Alice residents to monitor their water use. The plan aims to reduce water use in the region by 1600 megalitres per year.
Water Journal April 2011
Water Journal July 2011