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Australia's Impending Doom - Can we fix it?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Snoopy, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Australia isn't particularly mountainous or wet (but is sunny and windy). We don't have a lot of huge rivers, and we've pretty much got all the dams we're likely to get, for a combination of political, environmental and economic reasons.

    Of the two places with hydro power, one of them competes directly with agricultural and environmental flows into the Murray Darling Basin*. So it can't be expanded, and its contribution of energy to the national energy market is declining. The other place - Tasmania - doesn't exactly have water shortages.

    *The big area in the interior of the south east, Australia's largest river system, and the area which everyone is talking about when they talk about desertification, farming, drought, salinity and general dooooom in Australia
     
  2. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I always thought the thing is with desal and its electricity consumption that although it can be offset, it's presence reduces what else can be offset. If the government just says "all the electricity for this plant will come from renewable sources", then that just means there's something else that can't make use of that renewable energy.
     
  3. Arwon

    Arwon

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    This is true since you can never link a specific generator with a specific use within an energy grid, but maybe you get more political capital for building renewable by pairing the project and funding with a de-sal plant. Kwinana's associated wind farm produces a surplus beyond the needs of the de-sal plant - would that exist without the de-sal plant? I dunno.

    Plus, you know, reliable drinking water is a benefit beyond the balance of energy generation. If de-sal is needed, building renewable offsets is good policy. In fact maybe it should be a requirement for all polluting-but-necessary new bits of infrastructure.

    I also think Sydney's approach of only running it when dams are below about 70% is the appropriate use of it. And of course it should be kept publically owned.
     
  4. Justo

    Justo Emperor

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    Australians for some reason or Queenslanders at least think that waste water is dirty and that it will poison them. Little do they seem to realize that the government would lose tax money if they were poisoned and not working.

    In Queensland (South East Queensland at least) the government went ahead with recycled water even though it was extremely unpopular. Personally I don't have a problem with it. I believe that government also built some de-sal plants but these may have been canned once the drought ended.

    The funny thing with foolish Queenslanders was that people were complaining about the drought and impending water shortages/restrictions. Then they complained about recycled water when this started and then the cost of de-sal plants as well as pipelines connecting dams to one another. Regardless of what the government did there were heaps of unhappy stupid people.

    I know that they also ended up cancelling some dams that were going to be built due to protest and the end of the drought. Foolish people don't realize that there's going to be a drought again sooner or later.
     
  5. rilnator

    rilnator Emperor

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    Unless of course you could direct this poisoned water to suburbs with high unemployment rates, getting rid of dole bludgers and other welfare addicts.
     
  6. Ceoladir

    Ceoladir Come Fly With Me

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    It was intended to be a bit of a pun, if hydro-power was available, it would negate the purpose of the plant.
     
  7. kosiosko 1

    kosiosko 1 King

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    :)

    has anyone thought of building a mountain range in the desert, to get rain, to build hydro to run our desalination plants...
     
  8. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    Damn, that is a good idea.
     

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