Water Journal : Water Journal November 2013
WATER NOVEMBER 2013 18 Industry News SCA SAYS LONGWALL MINING IS A THREAT TO SYDNEY WATER SUPPLY The Sydney Catchment Authority has warned that longwall mining in Sydney's drinking water supply catchment poses a serious risk to water supply -- which should come as no surprise to the O'Farrell Government, Total Environment Centre (TEC) said today. In a submission on proposed changes to mining laws, the Authority warned that under the new regime there would be increased damage to water quality and quantity, along with water supply infrastructure. "Prior to the last election the Premier stood up wearing a 'Water Not Coal' T-shirt and promised to protect drinking water catchments from mining with a 'No ifs, no buts' guarantee," said TEC Director Jeff Angel. "Since then we have heard nothing. The Premier and his key ministers have dodged the issue and instead have engaged in the introduction of new laws that make it easier for companies to get a green light to mine in these critical water supply areas. "We have seen the recent damage at Mt Sugarloaf. We have seen terrible destruction occasioned to the Waratah Rivulet providing 30 per cent of the water to Woronora Reservoir. Cracking to the bed of the Upper Cataract River from the Appin Mine saw methane bubbling to the surface in volumes that allowed the river to be set alight. The Dendrobium Mine is currently dehydrating endangered swamps vital to the functioning of the water supply catchment. "Further to this there is currently a proposal by Gujarat NRE to undermine critical parts of the water catchment with experimental mining techniques, despite an appalling track record both on environmental and nancial compliance terms. This proposal has really been the last straw. "In almost every case government agencies, such as the SCA, have objected to all or part of the mining proposals prior to the damage occurring. But successive governments have proceeded with mining against the agencies' recommendations. This is a crisis of their own making and it's time to deliver on the promise of full catchment protection," Mr Angel concluded. $55M INVESTMENT TO MAKE ADELAIDE'S SOUTH 'WATER-PROOF' A ve-year $55 million investment in alternative water infrastructure is now complete, laying the foundations for a sustainable water future across SA's largest metropolitan council. Stage 2 of the 'Water Proo ng the South' project was completed in June by the City of Onkaparinga at a cost of $30 million, with support from the Federal and State Governments. "Completion of Stage 2 makes this the biggest and best project of its type in South Australia and we're very proud to be leading the charge for water sustainability," said Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg. With Stages 1 and 2 complete, the council now has the capacity to capture, store, treat and reuse 3.6 billion litres of stormwater annually, equivalent to almost 1,500 Olympic swimming pools. "This project delivers treated stormwater for irrigation, greater biodiversity within the project's wetlands, and better quality water being discharged to the marine environment," she said. "We now have an integrated system of aquifers, seven wetlands and a 23km pipe network across the city that supplies water to parks, reserves, schools and sports elds." City of Onkaparinga CEO Mark Dowd says 'Water Proo ng the South' delivers both environmental and economic bene ts that will support growth in the City. "There are potential economic development outcomes associated with the council providing an alternative source of water for industrial customers, developers and civil contractors," he said. Mr Dowd highlighted further bene ts including improved ood mitigation, in particular for Pedler Creek and the upper reaches of the Field River, and greater public amenity for residents. CHIEF MINISTER OPENS COTTER DAM Chief Minister Katy Gallagher of cially opened the Cotter Dam as part of the Cotterfest celebrations, handing the area back to the people of Canberra following completion of construction. The dam will support the economic growth and development of Canberra and the ACT through its next 100 years, providing long-term water security. Ms Gallagher was delighted to mark the completion of the dam, saying: "A project of this scale has had signi cant economic bene ts for the ACT economy through an active construction sector and the creation of hundreds of jobs. I would like to thank the Bulk Water Alliance for their professionalism in undertaking this massive project and the Board of ACTEW and Mark Sullivan and his staff for their dedication, oversight and management of this very complex project. "This is an historic day for the ACT and this major infrastructure project is evidence that Canberra is a 21st century city where investments made now will pay off for the future bene t of the city." The original Cotter Dam was completed in 1915, securing a permanent water supply for Australia's new capital. The location of the city itself was chosen because of the abundance of water within the catchment, with Acting Chief Engineer Ernest de Burgh stating that: "It is impossible to imagine a catchment from which a purer supply of water could be obtained."
Water Journal September 2013
Water Journal December 2013