Melbourne dams

Archived topics from the General Weather Discussion board.
johnno
Supercell
Posts: 3449
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Ascot Vale

Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:33 am

22 July 2011

Dams Near 60% in Strong Start to Filling Season
•Storages close in on 60% for first time since 2005
•Wet catchments producing strong runoff
•Thomson Dam gains 50 billion litres since start of winter
An exceptional start to the ‘filling season’ has accelerated the recovery of water storages, with Melbourne’s dams approaching 60% full.

Storages started winter at 54.6% and are today (22 July) 58.9% - a net gain of 79 billion litres. At this time last year storages were 35.6% full.

Manager of Water Supply, John Woodland, said the approaching 60% milestone was due to an early start to the dam filling season, the time of year - typically winter and spring - when the catchments have absorbed enough rain to produce high volumes of runoff.

“During the drought, filling seasons were often shorter and started later due to dry catchments, less rain and warmer weather,” said Mr Woodland.

“This year, the filling season has started earlier thanks to an unusually wet summer and autumn. This rain primed the catchments and has resulted in above-average runoff into the dams.

“With runoff higher than Melbourne’s daily water use, the net result is storages are making strong gains and approaching 60% full for the first time in five years,” he added.

Mr Woodland said the focus for the rest of the filling season was to make the most of the wet conditions and bank as much water as possible, particularly at the system’s biggest storage, the Thomson Dam.

“Most years, storage levels decline over the 6-8 months starting from December, so it’s important to harvest as much as we can now to lessen the impact of warmer and drier weather on storage levels,” he said.

“With many of the smaller dams at or close to capacity, the key to storage gains in 2011 remains the Thomson Dam.

“The Thomson has benefited most from the filling season so far, banking more than 50 billion litres. At just over 40% full, there’s still room for more than 600 billion litres,” he added.

Storage snapshot – Winter So Far (all 2011 figures to 22 July)
2011 winter to date Winter average
Rainfall 234.4mm 314.6mm
Streamflow 156.1 billion litres 175.8 billion litres
Dam increase 4.4% of total capacity (79.2 billion litres) 4.2% of total capacity (74 billion litres)
Macedonian
Supercell
Posts: 2125
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:44 pm
Location: Mount Macedon Vic at 870m above sea level

Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:46 pm

60% full at last. It has been a long time since the last time the dams were that full. I say we will get past 70% by early summer
dry
Cumulonimbus
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:06 pm
Location: Yarraville

Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:23 pm

The Victorian Government does not have to buy any desal water after the dams are 65% or more full. I'm guessing that mark will be reached within a month, so there is certainly no hurry to complete the desal project.
Macedonian
Supercell
Posts: 2125
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:44 pm
Location: Mount Macedon Vic at 870m above sea level

Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:03 am

That de-sal plant is the most massive waste of money and the most environmentally unsuitable solution to melbournes water problem. It should never have even been contemplated. The pipeline to Eildon is more than enough.
User avatar
mad*moo73
Cumulonumbus Calvas
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:11 pm
Location: Keysborough

Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:02 am

Macedonian » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:03 am wrote:
Macedonian wrote:That de-sal plant is the most massive waste of money and the most environmentally unsuitable solution to melbournes water problem. It should never have even been contemplated. The pipeline to Eildon is more than enough.
Agree! Though if we experience another massive drought as we have recently it will come in handy. But many more options should have been explored before we had to resort to a desal plant. It just encourages wasteful use of water which is wrong in a country that is prone to severe drought. Would have liked to have seen the water we get being better utilised rather than just "making" more.
Double Whopper award winning footy tipper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Macedonian
Supercell
Posts: 2125
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:44 pm
Location: Mount Macedon Vic at 870m above sea level

Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:32 am

You are right Moo. Recycling would have been the far more responsible option. Desal is wrong on so many levels. I bet Mr Bailleu is just itching to lift Melbournes stage two restrictions.
It is great to see the dams filling, with the snowmelt that would be occurring now with the warm weather they should go up even more.
dry
Cumulonimbus
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:06 pm
Location: Yarraville

Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:54 am

A a smaller, cheaper plant would of been more appropriate but the ego attached with 'the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere' is too much for me to understand. Most people got used to not watering outside whenever they liked.
User avatar
Onetahuti
Supercell
Posts: 2709
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Dandenong Nth.

Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:02 pm

One aspect that was killed off was using recycled water to use in the Latrobe Valley power stations so they continue to use fresh water and thus cause a drain on the dams. The amount of water they use I do not know but it is huge as there was consideration of piping Melbourne's sewerage treated water to there. The stations could actually largely eliminate water usuage by using different technology. My recent absence was for a visit to a sister in Collie in WA where she is working on a contract which involves one of the towns 3 power station putting in place a Chinese system that instead of mixing the coal dust residue from power production with fresh water and flowing it into a sludge pit it is drying the ash which will subsequently be used for such things as road fill.
User avatar
mick
Supercell
Posts: 1445
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:45 pm
Location: Mid North SA Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:18 pm

The theory is that the TD took 15 years to empty so will take just as long to fill, its just huge.

The Government has made it clear it wants to recycle stormwater. Youre going to see small local projects all over the place. All the cash that went into water conservation is now going into recycling projects.

The Desal Plant is a great, necessary idea badly implemented. It should have been smaller and it should have been built by the Government, ala old MMBW days. The two main reasons why you go into a PPP (public private partnership) is to spread the cost and risk. We didnt get any of sharing. The entire contract is a sick joke. Im going to be watching to see who gets a seat on the Board of some of these private companies. Thats the only reason anyone would have entered into a contract like this one.

There is only one option for the Desal Plant. That is to turn it off before its turned on, to let the membranes dry out at a cost of a coupla hundred million. We will still have to pay a fixed price of a coupla of hundred million more per year, but we can eliminate running costs. I dont want my taxes going to 100 blokes playing cards.
User avatar
Petros
Supercell
Posts: 1657
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:25 pm
Location: Maffra, Gippsland, Vic

Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:13 pm

Agree Mick, and as the economic pain decends on ordinary Vics over the lead up to Christmas, be prepared for a big public backlash against the cost blow-outs at the Desal project which surprisingly are kept under wraps at the moment (but will no doubt emerge) as they desparately try to get the project to bear some resemblance to the initial project timeline.
Macedonian
Supercell
Posts: 2125
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:44 pm
Location: Mount Macedon Vic at 870m above sea level

Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:46 pm

For ages the water authorities constantly said that it would take years and years of above average rainfall to get the storages up to a healthy level again. That was just crap because they easily came up to 60% back in 05 or 06 or whenever it was. Then they dropped to near record lows again and we were back on tight restrictions. Now we are back up to 60% again with the real likelihood of them going even higher. We were scammed into believing that it was small time domestic water usage that was to blame. Now we are stuck with this ridiculous desal plant that should never have been constructed and we have to pay pay pay.
Thomson Dam is slow to fill because it is too high in the mountains and really doesnt have much of a catchment when you compare it to a dam like Eildon which has several large rivers (Goulburn, Howqua, Delatite, Big and Jamieson) and numerous small tributaries running into it. Thomson Dam has bugger all catchment. It's just badly sighted.
tonycynic
Cumulonimbus
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:57 pm
Location: Mount Evelyn (h),Donvale (w)

Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:27 am

Sure enough, friday in the age.
VICTORIA'S troubled desalination plant is a full-blown financial disaster for its builder, who will now seek a deadline extension after it revealed its expected earnings have fallen by nearly $600 million since April.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/build ... z1U6bueSfl" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Hoover dam was built during the depression, could be a good time to build another.
User avatar
Anthony Violi
Supercell
Posts: 2652
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Lilydale
Contact:

Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:45 pm

The desal plant is being built to service nuclear energy, bookmark it.

Will be totally useless as a water solution anyway as we are still swimming from all the record breaking rains.

The Thompson took 15 years to fill but it could be full within 2 years as i expect more deluges this summer.

And one must ask, how much water would we actually have if they hadnt been letting all the water go out to sea during the last 12 months???

Agree, a bigger watse of taxpayers money you wont find, almost as bad as paying Tim Flannery 180K a year to tell everyone all the major cities will run out of water by 2010....
http://www.therealworldweatherforum.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

avweatherforecasts.com
Pane
Cumulonimbus
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:34 pm
Location: Jerilderie nsw

Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:35 pm

G'day

Totally agree Anthony, nuclear energies main requirement all ready taken care of.

What also needs explaining a little better is why Melbourne water were releasing such high environmental flows during a wet year? It was in the herald sun a month or so back and didn't really get much air time.

Cheers
johnno
Supercell
Posts: 3449
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Ascot Vale

Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:32 pm

Melbourne water storages are 60.4% at the moment and are at there highest since December 2004 when they were 60.9% so neally 7 years since we have seen them this high.
droughtbreaker
Moderator
Posts: 2844
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:50 pm
Location: Mount Macedon, VIC, 520m asl

Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:39 pm

Don't tell me that a desal plant in a part of the world prone to severe and occasionally disastrous droughts is completely unnecessary.

Normally we get pretty reliable rainfall down here in VIC, but when the droughts come they can be pretty horrific as we know all too well from the 2000-2009 period.
OK it is disappointing that it is costing so much more money than it was supposed to, but I can assure you everyone will be glad it is there next time the dams are down to 20% or whatever. It is a vital safeguard that will totally protect us from catastrophic water shortages such as what we saw at times over the past 10 years.
User avatar
Anthony Violi
Supercell
Posts: 2652
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Lilydale
Contact:

Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:59 pm

Thats not the issue Andrew. We could have built dams for 1/5th of the cost that would have enabled us to now have 4 times the volume we currently have, which would drought proof us.

Every other state is the same, QLD rejected dams and went for a desal which sits on the GC half finished when they realised it was pointless as they have so much water it beggared belief.

Now we need to pay for it for 30 years, when we wont probably be needing it as we wont be down to 20% anytime soon.

The Mitchell flooded again today, and the water goes into the ocean, simply because bufoons like the greenies woulkd like us to live in the dark ages rather than move forward as a civilisation. With all the floods for the last 10 years there, would you like to hazard a geuss as to how much water we would now have for 1/5th of the cost?
http://www.therealworldweatherforum.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

avweatherforecasts.com
Macedonian
Supercell
Posts: 2125
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:44 pm
Location: Mount Macedon Vic at 870m above sea level

Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:32 pm

Good falls around the Thomson Dam catchment in the last 24 or so hours. 70mm at Mount Baw Baw and 90mm at Mount Useful.
dry
Cumulonimbus
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:06 pm
Location: Yarraville

Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:25 pm

The dams 'gunned' it this week. Up to 60.9%.
User avatar
daviescr
Admin/Moderator
Posts: 1394
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: Warranwood, Vic

Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:09 pm

Amazing to think that our water storages are now holding over a trillion litres of water, almost exactly two 'Sydarbs' (official term for the volume of sydney harbour ;) ). The last time they were this high at this time of year was 1999. 1998 was at 64.7% in Mid-August, and 1997 was at a tad below 80%.

I reckon we should easily see 70% by year's end, with Thompson possibly hitting 60% as well - here's hoping!
Locked