Month: April 2019

Does Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party plan a Bradfield Scheme?

The One Nation ‘hybrid’ Bradfield Scheme is a Clayton’s Bradfield Scheme – the Bradfield Scheme you are having when you are not having a Bradfield Scheme.

One Nation committed in January 2017 to a ‘hybrid’ Bradfield Scheme approach to water security to drought-proof the State and made a number of public statements and a members bill mentioning Bradfield.  A Bradfield Scheme must, by definition surely, include the transfer of water from coastal rivers across the Great Dividing Range in order to benefit inland areas. It may optionally include transporting water to the Murray-Darling Basin. But the building of a scheme to transfer of water inland or to the MDB is not mentioned in the list of projects on the PHON water policy webpage.

One Nation will:

1. Support the Commonwealth in building additional capacity on the Burdekin catchment through raising the Burdekin Falls Dam supporting Townsville and the Galilee and Bowen Basins mining operations and Lower Burdekin irrigation.

2. Support the selection of storage options in the Fitzroy catchment.

3. Urgently examine the opportunities for dam level raising in the south-east.

4. Cost the Nathan Dam and pipelines project for water security for mining, power, urban and agriculture users in the Surat Coal Basin and Dawson-Callide region.

PHON Water Security policy

No mention of the transfer of water from coastal rivers across the Great Dividing Range in order to benefit inland areas or the Murray-Darling.

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Categories: Bradfield Scheme

A new route for watering the Murray-Darling Basin from Queensland

Here is an alternative route for an aqueduct into the Murray-Darling basin developed by Jason Hall. This follows the route from the Herbert and Hells Gate down near Charters Towers to Lake Galilee, where it branches to the Mitchell Grass Downs and heads south to Barcaldine, Blackall and Wadsworth, the scheme low point at 200m AHD. It then branches via a pipeline to Charleville and further south via the Bulloo River valley.

Jason indicates that the entire scheme has an average fall of 20m every 100k (ideal 1:5000) with only a 50km pipeline into the St George area (if there was enough demand). The aqueduct would be capable of delivering 2000GL per annum, but more would be available depending on seasonal supply factors and other catchment intakes.

Thanks, Jason!

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A safer alternative to the Adani Mine Groundwater Plan

The approval of the massive Adani (Carmichael Coal) Mine has been delayed by ongoing concerns with the groundwater plan. What if the mine did not have to use groundwater at all, but drew water from massive storages created nearby at Lake Buchanan and Lake Galilee? The unused salt lakes perched on the Great Dividing Range could be filled with flood water from an aqueduct to Hells Gate Dam on the headwaters of the Burdekin River.

Low-cost gravitational flow is viable, as it is downhill from all the way from the headwaters of the Burdekin, providing Hells Gate Dam is built to a sufficient height.

Not only Adani, but 5 mines have been approved for the Galilee Coal Basin (see image). Are they going to run into the same water sourcing problems too? A Galilee pipeline should be constructed to pipe water east from the two storages and so mitigate the environmental impact of these mines on ground and surface waters.

The mines in the Bowen Basin draw water from the Burdekin Falls Dam via a pipeline – why not build the same river saving infrastructure for the Galilee Basin?

In addition, the storages could also be used for town water supply and irrigation of the fertile Mitchell Grass Downs to the west of the Great Dividing Range. Use a renewable supply of flood waters and leave the limited groundwater source alone.

Renewable hydropower generation is also possible at and between Lake Buchanan and Lake Galilee, as well as locations along the aqueduct route. The power generated could be sold to the mines, generating carbon-free revenue.

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Categories: Bradfield Scheme

NSW on-boards

Water security is at the centre of the NSW Nationals election pitch to regional NSW, with the deputy premier floating a decades-old multi-state inland irrigation plan at the party’s campaign launch.

Nationals leader John Barilaro on Sunday confirmed he would write to the prime minister this week to “start the discussion” on reviving the Bradfield scheme.

The government will invest $25 million to research the merits of the scheme, which would funnel water from Queensland, through NSW and into South Australia.

NSW govt’s water security cash splash
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A gravitational Bradfield Scheme will happen

Published in On Line Opinion

A scheme generating the agricultural revenue of the Murray-Darling Basin, the renewable power of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, flood water control to save the Reef, and mitigation of flood damage to environmental, personal and public assets is highly desirable. Due to situational and environmental constraints, water conveyance may be the most practical way for Queensland to increase land under irrigation profitably. A gravitational Bradfield Scheme is the inevitable outcome of a development process that puts the priority on reduction of carbon emissions, conservation of the environment, and sustainable development.

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Categories: Bradfield Scheme Publications