Rain doubted

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Last updated on July 16th, 2017 at 09:12 am

“The Canberra Times has buried the lead,” emails Dave M. “Canberra may never see rain again!” So it seems:

This could be the dam that saves Canberra …

The old Cotter Dam is small and was built almost a century ago. Soon it will have a soaring 80m wall and will hold 20 times as much water: 78 gigalitres if it rains, of course.

Canberra receives rain an average of 108 days per year. Despite the Crimes’ casual fear-mongering, this should continue. In fact, rain is due by mid-week

UPDATE. Canberra’s Alex Robson emails: “We already had a good amount of rain this week.” You know, this innovative “dam” concept might have a future.

Posted by Tim B. on 10/27/2007 at 06:12 AM
    1. You’re kidding: someone is actually building (extending) a dam, and in the People’s Republic of Canberra?  Surely there’s some kind of low-flying parrot whose flightpath would be fatally intersected by a higher dam wall?

      Posted by cuckoo on 2007 10 27 at 06:32 AM • permalink


    1. #1 Or a frog, or a possum, or an insect, or the rare and endangered Purple And Crimson Ostrich.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 10 27 at 06:36 AM • permalink


    1. Yes ,Australias infrastructure was built mainly in the 40’s and 50’s .our population has doubled since then.Gee it may time to upgrade.Lets spend some money!!

      Posted by Hannibal on 2007 10 27 at 06:45 AM • permalink


    1. Woops,.Our population has doubled.Damn tasty beer.

      Posted by Hannibal on 2007 10 27 at 06:47 AM • permalink


    1. I’m confused.  Hasn’t Alexander Downer been proclaiming that the great dryening can only be dealt with by genuine fiscal conservatives?

      Isn’t this pro-wettening talk defeatist?

      Posted by Hero Schema on 2007 10 27 at 06:49 AM • permalink


    1. #5 Well, isn’t a good thing that Rudd is trying to convince us that he’s a genuine fiscal conservative too?

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 10 27 at 06:50 AM • permalink


    1. O/T Some good news:

      ‘Shoot first’ laws make it tough for burglars

      Today 19 out of 50 US states, mostly in the south and the central regions of the country, have this kind of laws, and similar legislation is pending in about a dozen others.

      “This law will bring common-sense self-defense protections to law-abiding citizens,” said Rachel Parsons, a spokesperson for the NRA.

      “If someone is breaking into your home, it’s obvious that they are not there to have dinner with you,” she continued.

      “You do have a right to protect your belongings, your family and yourself.

      “The law needs to be put on the side of the victim, and not on the side of the criminal, who is attacking the victim.”

      Yes, that’s a fairly obvious conclusion. But not to these people:

      But for the Freedom States Alliance that fights against the proliferation of firearms in the United States, these new laws attach more value to threatened belongings than to the life of the thief

      “It’s that whole Wild West mentality that is leading the country down a very dangerous path,” said Sally Slovenski, executive director of the alliance.

      “In any other country, something like the castle doctrine or stand-your-ground laws look like just absolute lunacy,” she continued.

      One might venture that it looks slightly less like lunacy to those that have actually been burgled.

      Posted by Kobaal on 2007 10 27 at 06:53 AM • permalink


    1. …a better way of boosting water supplies than recycling sewage, which was still on the table.
      Backwards we may be, here in Queensland, but at least we keep our sewage in waste water treatment facilities

      Posted by eeniemeenie on 2007 10 27 at 06:54 AM • permalink


    1. #6 …isn’t it a good thing…

      Preview is again mocking me.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 10 27 at 06:57 AM • permalink


    1. It’s never going to rain again and Canberra will be consumed by flames, a bit like California at the moment. It’s all global warming’s fault. Which is all our fault.

      Are we scared yet?

      We’re all going to die. When?

      I’ll get back to you…

      Posted by kae on 2007 10 27 at 07:03 AM • permalink


    1. The ACT Government releases more water from its dams for “environmental flows” than it allows the population of Canberra to use.  The idea that the ACT could actually increase its dam storage capacity leaves me lost for words.  I guess Canberrans have finally realised that there is a limit to the number of times you can recycle your own sewerage back into your drinking water.

      I’m disappointed: I thought the stupidity of the ACT Government and the shiny bums that elect it was limitless.

      Posted by Ubique on 2007 10 27 at 07:18 AM • permalink


    1. #11
      Hey, me bum is not shiny!Oh… doesn’t count.  I did not vote for those drongoes.

      Dunno about the enviro flows now, last time I was up the Cotter it was barely a trickle from the dam. I was also a bit socially confused and when I fell in the thing there was a definite ‘thud’, not a ‘splash’. I remember that bit.

      But I might have missed, I suppose ….


      Posted by MarkL on 2007 10 27 at 07:28 AM • permalink


    1. #12 Mark, I suspect the current ACT Government doesn’t count on your vote.

      Posted by Ubique on 2007 10 27 at 07:32 AM • permalink


    1. Isn’t a stanhope one of those useless antique thingummies incorporating a microscopic black and white view?
      OT I don’t know about art, but I know what i like.Weeping Gillard [portrait of Julia Gillard], 2006 by Raymond MILES

      Posted by eeniemeenie on 2007 10 27 at 07:37 AM • permalink


    1. #14 That’s the best portrait of Gillard I’ve ever seen. Somehow, the artist managed to make her look halfway decent.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 10 27 at 07:39 AM • permalink


    1. #14
      That’s an amazing portrait. Almost photographically accurate. I wonder why she was weeping?

      Posted by kae on 2007 10 27 at 07:48 AM • permalink


    1. Tut tut, if they prayed to the rain god and maybe made the odd sacrifice to Gaia (PBUH), then maybe this so called ‘dam’ wouldn’t be needed.

      Posted by Nic on 2007 10 27 at 08:04 AM • permalink


    1. Work is due to begin on raising the Gold Coast’s Hinze dam in early 2008.
      This third stage has long been planned but resisted by the rain doomsters.
      But then it overflowed in the middle of the drought, and saved the city from its worst flood ever in the same year (2006 IIRC).

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 10 27 at 08:06 AM • permalink


    1. #14 Eenie.

      That picture has had most of her flaws airbrushed out.

      Posted by Penguin on 2007 10 27 at 08:06 AM • permalink


    1. #16- maybe she heard the story of the little Dutch boy and was grieving for all she had to give up in her pursuit of power

      Posted by eeniemeenie on 2007 10 27 at 08:07 AM • permalink


    1. #14 eenie, what’s she doing with the tongs?
      Getting wax out of her ears to feed the leader, perhaps?

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 10 27 at 08:11 AM • permalink


    1. #18
      Was that when the dam filled up in two days? My brother was up and he and SIL were looking at houses, she was already up working on the coast. He took us to the dam a couple of days after the floods and told us how low the water was when he was there a few days before. He was just amazed at the amount of water that it would have taken to fill the dam that far. Sprinbrook is a great catchment.He also took us up to The Panorama. WOW. What a view!

      Posted by kae on 2007 10 27 at 08:11 AM • permalink


    1. #22

      Springbrook is a great catchment.

      Yeah kae, one of the wettest spots in the country.
      A cousin had just bought a house on one of the klongs in Mermaid Waters. He was a bit shocked when the muddy water came up over his new swimming pool and threatened his ground floor. All of that flooding came from downstream of the Hinze dam, which was not quite full when the rains started, and was just about to overflow when they stopped.
      The raising of the dam is for both more water storage and flood mitigation.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 10 27 at 08:29 AM • permalink


    1. Remind me, someone. Why do we want to save Canberra, again?

      Posted by squawkbox on 2007 10 27 at 08:53 AM • permalink


    1. That was the same area that the Wolfdene dam was to be built in the early 90’s. The Water Resources Commission had figured out that the SE corner would need additional storage capacity to cater for the population influx.

      The Goss Government in its infinite wisdom with one K Rudd as the director of the Premiers Office decided that it was not necessary and canned it.

      Level 5 water restrictions so concentrate the mind!!

      This is the guy who wants us all to think that he cares about the future. His record in Queensland planning for the future is appalling.

      Posted by amortiser on 2007 10 27 at 09:38 AM • permalink


    1. You guys are forgetting that among global warming’s various weapons, one is to make it rain too hard in places that mankind doesn’t want it to rain, and create droughts in places where we want the water.

      Global warming is cunning and sneaky!  If everyone doesn’t plant a tree today, it will never rain in Australia again!

      UPDATE:  Or you can buy Al Gore’s book if planting a tree is inconvenient.  Both actions stop global warming equally well, or so I’m told.

      Posted by blogagog on 2007 10 27 at 10:02 AM • permalink


    1. Help me Aussies for I still think in imperial measurements. How big is a gigalitre in terms of how many average houses x amount consumed in so many days?

      Posted by John A on 2007 10 27 at 11:13 AM • permalink


    1. “Canberra may never see rain again!” reminded me of an old joke about a tourist trying to make conversation with an old fellow sitting on a bench in the courthouse square:

      STRANGER: Think it’ll rain?

      OLDTIMER: Always has.

      Posted by ErnieG on 2007 10 27 at 11:18 AM • permalink


    1. Ash_—but what about the brain-sucking amoeba!  How can we endanger the habitat of the brainp-sucking amoeba!  WON’T SOMEBODY THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 10 27 at 11:26 AM • permalink


    1. Richard, I think they’ve found homes in the heads of the left. This thread has evidence of my theory.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 10 27 at 11:38 AM • permalink


    1. #26

      UPDATE:  Or you can buy Al Gore’s book if planting a tree is inconvenient.  Both actions stop global warming equally well, or so I’m told.

      That’d be like the “new” male contraceptive I heard about years ago. It was larger than your average pill and all spiky. The male would put it in his shoe. It worked by making him limp.

      Posted by kae on 2007 10 27 at 04:18 PM • permalink


    1. #27
      a gigalitre = lots

      Posted by kae on 2007 10 27 at 04:23 PM • permalink


    1. Before the dam is built we will have to run it by a committee. Then we will hold a series of meetings so anyone in the southern hemisphere can raise any objections. We will then form subcommittees to investigate each of those objections raised in detail.
      When the last subcommittee reports back in we will then take it to the enviros for its ritual denunciation, sending it back to pre-feasibility study.
      Then we will hold a series of meetings with contractors invited to bid for tenders. We will then meet with each of the contractors……. That concludes step 1 of 45 steps involved before a sod of earth is turned.
      I think Canberra will be joining Mrs Blanchett in drinking poo water before this ever gets off the ground.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2007 10 27 at 05:45 PM • permalink


    1. #25 amortiser. Your are dead right about the Wolfdene dam. It was planned by the Nats for completion in 2005, and a lot of money had been spent.
      Friends had a farm in the area ploanned to be inundated. Before Goss got in, my friends had been bought out by the Water authority at a very satisfactory price.
      The same Kruddy Goss administration canned the eastern freeway from Brisbane to Gold Coast to save some koalas in the Daisy Hill area.
      Again, much money had been spent by the Nats and construction had started on the Eastern Freeway. Expensive hangovers from that abandoned construction can stil be seen at the Smith Street-M1 intersection.
      A few months ago, the M1 backed up from Beenleigh to Tugun after a blockage on the one and only arterial route between the two biggest cities in the state.
      Hospitals, highways, water, schools, electricity — everything Labor has touched has turned to shit.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 10 27 at 06:06 PM • permalink


    1. #34 ploanned = planned; stil = still
      Sorry, my typing fingers go crazy when I’m angry.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 10 27 at 06:10 PM • permalink


    1. #24 Some of us have to live here!  Some of us also had the good sense not to vote for Stanhopeless.

      Posted by Quoll on 2007 10 27 at 06:15 PM • permalink


    1. #33
      Looks like channel 9 is going to have an expose of the Traveston Dam…“Do we really need it?” Showing pics of a peaceful creekside setting, thistles blooming, birds singing, insects buzzing.

      Well, of course we don’t need it. We will eventually evolve to not need water at all, that’s what’s going to happen with climate change, evolution will happen faster – will be sped up. Unless, of course, you believe in creationism, in which case we will have intervention to adapt to a waterless world.

      Posted by kae on 2007 10 27 at 06:41 PM • permalink


    1. Its time to ban trees, look at this lovely non-alarmist headline from your ABC, as usual using the dreaded “as much as X cars in a year” measurement.


      Much like the Muja power station here in WA that is promoted as at least partially “green”. Why? Because they burn timber waste. I found that out when trying to find sawdust for work, you just cant get bulk amounts because its all incinerated.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2007 10 27 at 07:05 PM • permalink


    1. #38

      The board urged residents in five counties to stay indoors due to elevated pollution levels that are three times higher than the federal norms, raising particular danger for the elderly, children and those with asthma or breathing ailments.

      Well, on the bright side, they won’t be driving their cars. D’ya reckon they can advise 440,000 car drivers not to drive for a year to offset the fires?

      It’s interesting about the warning to stay indoors because of pollution. In Sydney one year during the bushfires burning over the Christmas and new year period it was really, unpleasantly smoky. People with respiratory problems were advised to stay indoors. Not everyone.

      Perhaps it’d be easier if we all stopped breathing.
      What next? Oxygen canisters for us and a system of exhaling into another canister to sequester our CO2?

      Posted by kae on 2007 10 27 at 07:15 PM • permalink


    1. We’re getting a little drizzle in North Hollywood right now.  Here’s hoping for more…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 10 27 at 08:03 PM • permalink


    1. #27 – Back of the envelope calculations:

      Water consumption would be at least 100 litres per person per day, when rationed. Even in a spacecraft or submarine, 10 litres/day would be needed.

      Canberra has 300,000 people. So 30 megalitres would be enough for 1 day at level 5 water restriction rates. 1 gigalitre is about enough for 30 days.

      A gigalitre is a million tons of water, by the way.

      More detailed: each Australian household consumes about 280 kl/year.
      280,000 litres, say 3 people per household, 100,000 litres each, 300 litres/day or near enough. That’s in accordance with the “at least 100 on stage 5 restrictions” of the rough guess.

      The additional storage is therefore good for about 18 months of grace period between droughts breaking. Maybe twice that on rationing.

      For those metrically challenged, a metre is a yard, a litre is a quart, and kilogram 2 lbs. Or close enough, the metric measures are about 10% more than that.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2007 10 27 at 08:39 PM • permalink


    1. So what’s a megametre?

      Posted by dean martin on 2007 10 27 at 09:55 PM • permalink


    1. #32 a gigalitre = lots

      This isn’t my area but I think in the US the standard unit of measurement for a dam’s reservoir is a “foot-acre”

      Personally, I love it because a foot-acre sounds so absurd. Bartender! Bring me a foot-acre of beer!

      (foot acre = the amount of water needed to cover 1 acre to a depth of 1 foot = 325851.427 US gallons = 0.00123348184 gigaliter = 1233481.84 liter)

      Posted by Col. Milquetoast on 2007 10 27 at 10:47 PM • permalink


    1. So what’s a megametre?

      A megametre is 1000 kilometres, or around 620 miles in old measurements.  Much like 1000 kilowatts is a megawatt or 1000kHz is 1Mhz.

      Posted by craigo on 2007 10 28 at 10:57 PM • permalink


  1. #1, don’t laugh cuckoo but the Greens are already carrying on about some species of fish whose habitat will be “flooded” by raising the dam wall – I am not joking!

    Posted by craigo on 2007 10 28 at 11:00 PM • permalink