ABC Still in Denial about History of Lower Murray and Estuary

‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Those inspiring words are attributed to Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States (1923-1929).

It’s easy to give up.  Particularly when you choose to take-on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  But Bob F-J is no quitter.  Following is yet another letter from Bob F-J to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation complaining about their Media Watch program of March 19.  As Bob F-J explains in the following letter of complaint: Media Watch misled viewers by withholding critical facts.  In particular, Media Watch failed to inform the Australian public about the majority view of scientists on the nature of the Murray River estuary and failed to inform the Australian public of the history of the Lower Murray and its estuary…

‘Audience and Consumer Affairs, GPO Box 9994, Sydney 2001

28/June/2012

Dear Ms McLiesh,

Re:  “What’s in a name” on Media Watch of March 19, 2012

I made a much broader subject complaint of May 8, and since have found that the ABC failed in its statutory duty in handling it.  A&CA also failed to acknowledge the major issues in my original complaint and diverted to lesser points.

This new complaint focuses on the objective statutory issue.  The particular breached clause in the ‘ABC Act 1983’ was:

8, Duties of the [ABC] Board:

8.1 (c) To ensure that the gathering and presentation by the Corporation of news and information is accurate and impartial according to the recognized standards of objective journalism…

This is reflected in the Editorial Policies thus;

2, Accuracy, Principles:

The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is accurate according to the recognised standards of objective journalism…

I submit that the ABC failed in this duty by way of the following examples:

A)  Failed to inform the Australian public of the majority view of scientists on the nature of the Murray River’s estuary

Q1  Media Watch [email to Dr Marohasy]: Do you accept that the vast majority of recognised experts on the natural history and hydrology of the Lower Lakes disagree with your conclusion that they were estuarine immediately prior to the erection of the Murray Mouth barrages, or at any time in the past 2000 years?

A1  Jennifer Marohasy:  No.  The relevant scientific literature, as published in peer-reviewed journals by recognised experts, indicates that the Lower Lakes were estuarine prior to the erection of the Murray Mouth barrages. The following quote from a scientific paper published in the journal Marine Geology by Professors R.P. Bourman, A.P. Belperio, C.V. Murray-Wallace and N. Harvey, citing E. Barnett, seems to sum up the conclusion of these recognised experts:

“Originally a vibrant, highly productive estuarine ecosystem of 75,000 ha, characterised by mixing of brackish and fresh water with highly variable flows, barrage construction has transformed the lakes into freshwater bodies with permanently raised water levels; freshwater discharge has been reduced by 75% and the tidal prism by 90% (Bourman and Barnett, 1995, Marine Geology 170:141-168)

Professor John Cann and co-workers have studied fossil foraminifera – tiny protozoa with shells of calcium carbonate preserved in the sediments of the Lower Lakes – concluding that the changes in the foraminiferal assemblages over the most recent 2,000 years indicate a general trend of increasing marine influence, up until the construction of the barrages that now block the natural ebb and flow between the Lower Lakes and Southern Ocean. ( Cann et al., Quarternary Research 53:378-391)

Professor Peter Gell writing in the recently published The Sage Handbook of Environmental Change has commented that the natural state of the Lower Lakes was tidal, that the lakes have been incorrectly listed as freshwater in the International Ramsar Convention, and that until their natural estuarine character is recognised it will be difficult to reverse the long-term decline in their ecological health. (See Chapter 27. Human Impacts on Lacustrine Ecosystems, page 595)

Geoscience Australia classifies the Lower Lakes as part of a wave dominated barrier estuary with positive annual hydrodynamics. (Ryan et al., Conceptual Models of Australia’s Estuaries and Coastal Waterways: Application for Coastal Resource Management, Geoscience Australia Record 2003/09. See appendix D.)

As stated in my complaint, these references identify eighteen (18) independent scientists in that field that agree that the lakes were estuarine prior to the installation of the barrages, and yet Mr Holmes made absolutely no mention of that.  Instead he made bald statements and quotes giving an entirely different inference towards Dr Marohasy’s competence in the matter.  For instance he quoted and opined:

“Fairfax Media’s The Stock Journal covered the story by posting an AEF media release:  The new report [by Dr Marohasy]is supported by other peer-reviewed science papers and the historical record of the Lakes.

That’s an extraordinarily contentious claim.”

Yet, the consensus science and history is in overwhelming support.  (although some other vested/political interests including a few controversial scientists….possibly with a vested interest….do contest it).

B)  Failed to inform the Australian public of the history of the Lower Murray and its estuary

Dr Marohasy’s email response to Media Watch gave some brief history of the estuary prior to the barrages.  The addendum included three maps and four newspaper articles.  In my complaint item No.8 I wrote:

Both Dr Marohasy’s report and her reply to Media Watch advised brief histories recording estuarine conditions in the lakes prior to the barrages.  It is baffling that there was zero mention of this in the show to support her and the AEF.  Maybe the saline distribution maps and newspaper articles were too complicated for Media Watch staff to understand?  Maybe just a couple of photos* below can help to clarify?

But again, there was absolutely no mention of the “inconvenient” history by Media Watch, and neither did it register with A&CA when emphasized with these photos!

In Summary:

Clearly Media Watch was in breach of Editorial Standard 3.1, that is, the program failed to:

3.1 Acknowledge and correct or clarify, in an appropriate manner as soon as reasonably practicable:  a)   significant material errors that are readily apparent or have been demonstrated; or b)  information that is likely to significantly and materially mislead.

The Media Watch team erred and misled viewers by withholding critical facts in their possession!  Consequently, the ABC should put corrections to air and in writing to Dr Marohasy, Prof Ridd and the AEF.

Also, although the editorial policies surprisingly do not include any considerations of ‘apology’, it would be proper to apologise to them just as was done in the case of Prof Ross Garnaut’s complaint against ‘The 7:30 Report’ over the programme “The Price of Gold”.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Fernley-Jones

*Photos of porpoise and marine Mulloway from the estuary before the barrages were constructed stopping the tide and damming the estuary/converting a once vibrant estuary into an artificial freshwater reservoir.

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101 Responses to ABC Still in Denial about History of Lower Murray and Estuary

  1. Neville July 3, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Here’s a good map on page 2 of this SA govt report of lake Alexandrina and the towns shown above the lake.

    Tailem bend seems to be about 15 klms above Alexandrina, see scale on lower left. That photo of the porpoise before the barrages rather lets the cat out of the bag.

    Quite obviously it was an estaurine system up to the unnatural blockage by the man made barrages. No argument at all, so the idiot ABC should apologise to Jennifer straight away.

    See page 2 for good map. http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/xstd_files/Water/Report/risk_2_s6.pdf

  2. Debbie July 3, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Good for you Bob F J.
    You have exposed how SA has continued to falsely claim that the problem is because they have had their water stolen by ‘upstream’.
    What rubbish!
    A short stroll through the history of water management proves that after every so called ‘reform’ SA receives more and more water from the storage space and regulatory rules.
    Jennifer’s work along with others also shows that for at least 20% of the time, those Lakes had seawater in them….
    Recent monitoring also indicates that even after the massive flush given to the system courtesy of our totally variable climate still shows that sea water makes its way into those lakes.
    Our storages and regulatory systems could never emulate what has happened in the last 2 seasons.
    It has very, very little to do with anything other than the fact that the ocean and oceanic weather conditions are the natural order of things and a HUGE natural influence at the bottom of the MDB system.

  3. Robert July 3, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    So pleased you mentioned Silent Cal, the man who made the twenties roar. (Interventionists and intellectuals like Hoover and FDR are needed if you want to make a depression “great” and get yourself called “great” in the process.) As to the charge that Coolidge was no true reformer, he wanted social and wage justice etc on local level, not federal, and proved it when he was governor. As for his attitude to minorities, especially blacks, what a contrast to the foul racist, Woodrow Wilson, still the darling of shallow-minded snobs.

    And speaking of shallow-minded snobs…congrats on going after Big Smug and Jonathan Holmes.

  4. Neville July 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    USA could return to 1990 levels of co2 emissions this year. All because of new technology and easier gas extraction.
    So what do the resident idiots think of this I wonder? Once again sceptics are correct and the mad religious fanatics are wrong.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/02/us-co2-emissions-may-drop-to-1990-levels-this-year/#more-66684

  5. Ian Thomson July 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    In the last week the Edward has roared up from a low, low , to near summer levels with the weir open . The Mulwala canal is to be filled early. Look at this link and you can see why. It is called fear . Fear of a decent shower of rain. There is no airspace and no new storages.

    http://www.g-mwater.com.au/water-resources/storage-levels

  6. Neville July 4, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Some good fire and brimstone preaching by one of Luke’s, Gav’s and Bazza’s heroes Combet. The Juliar idiot looks on approvingly. Ya gotta laugh and great punchline from Greg.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/07/whos-running-the-big-scare-campaign/#more-22535

  7. hunter July 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Good job on showing up the deceptions that exemplify modern journalism.

  8. Tony Price July 5, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    If the lower lakes were not estuarine prior to the construction of the barrages, then why were they built?

    Apologies for my absence (not that anyone missed me) – I’ve been busy on several projects, one of which is the gathering of pertinent stuff on the MDB, relevant to this post.

    The Murray Darling Basin Commission (now absorbed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority) says:

    Before the barrages were built, tidal effects and the intrusion of seawater were felt up to 250 km upstream from the mouth of the River Murray during periods of low flow.

    From the earliest days of settlement along the lower reaches of the river there were strong representations from landowners for the construction of barrages, primarily to keep the water fresh in the lower reaches of the River Murray, as well as Lake Albert and Lake Alexandrina.
    http://www2.mdbc.gov.au/rmw/river_murray_system/barrages.html

    Seems simple to me – keep the salt water out, keep the fresh water in. If the lakes were not estuarine, there’d be no salt water to keep out, now would there?

    Off-topic (but of particular interest to me) has anyone seen the dire predictions in “Coastal flooding may rise 2000-fold”?
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/coastal-flooding-may-rise-2000-fold/story-e6frg8y6-1226416164218

    “Based on what the authors describe as conservative interpretations of the International Panel on Climate Change sea-level projections, it suggests that Sydney could expect a 2200-fold increase in coastal flooding by 2100.”
    “This means that a (coastal flooding) event which presently only happens on average once every 100 years . . . will happen several times a year,” he said.

    Yeah – right! It describes John Hunter (co-author) as a “sea-level rise expert”. This “expert” assumes uniform sea-level rise around the globe (yeah – right!). He assumes uniform sea-level rise around Australia (yeah – right!). He projects the severest impacts in and around Sydney, which has, and continues to have the lowest rise in Oz (yeah – the last bit IS right!). He assumes no mitigation or adaptation whatsoever between now and 2100, (implicitly) assumes beaches and sandbars will not change, and estuaries will not continue to silt up.
    Yeah – wrong!

  9. amcoz July 5, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    JM, I well remember the ’56 flood, particularly, as my dad spent a weeks on the river helping to sand bag affected towns. What I didn’t know until I read your excellent blog that there is a bloody big barrage across the mouth of the River Murray; no wonder the flood was far more devastating than ought to have been had nature prevailed without it.

  10. Neville July 5, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Tony thanks for that info on barrages and SLR. Make sure that all the barrages info is saved properly because this info has a habit of disappearing when referal is made to it.

    The CSIRO once changed all their BS info on salinity levels in the MDB after Jennifer corrected them and was backed up by Bolt in one of his columns.

  11. Neville July 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    This is Costello at his best, showing what a barking mad tax our Gillard govt has lumbered us with.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE5CC4h57GA&feature=g-vrec

  12. cohenite July 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    The title for this post while accurate, is incomplete, or rather too limiting:

    “ABC still in denial about…..”

    Fixed, add as appropriate.

  13. Bob_FJ July 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Neville @July 3rd, @ 8:46 am,
    Thanks for that Neville, I thought Tailem Bend would be in that area, but nice to see it pin-pointed.
    And, reur July 4th, @ 9:05 am,
    Whatever happened to Luke I wonder? He seems to have gone quiet lately, a tad like Tim Flannery has maybe?
    Tony Price @ July 5th@ 12:24 am
    Gosh, saltwater 250 Km upstream in the Murray? Not only does it look like an estuary but it seemed to behave like one before the barrages. (what’s that about “if it walks like a duck and quacks like one it probably is one”?)
    Your link to the now defunct MDBC would not open for me today. Do you have a file copy?
    Any chance you could send a gentle personal email of enquiry to Media Watch on these inconvenient points that you raise?
    Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes: Holmes.Jonathan@abc.net.au
    His exec producer Lin Buckfield: Buckfield.Lin@abc.net.au

  14. Bob_FJ July 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Debbie @ July 3rd, @ 10:34 am
    Thanks for that Debbie,
    Have you seen this rainfall record from our BoM for the MDB?
    On top of this there is little discussion on the benefits of modulation from the dams etc.

  15. Neville July 5, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Bob here is the MDB rainfall with anomaly graph and 15 year moving line.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=mdb&season=0112&ave_yr=15

    1900 to 1949 period was a shocker, much drier than any other 50 years. Moving line below average for that entire 50 years.
    Last drought was bad but overall we’ve lived in a much wetter time.

  16. Robert July 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Great point about the first half of the twentieth century. After the Fed drought, most of Eastern Oz was light on rainfall, in spite of the odd flood disaster. Those of us who grew up in the fifties lived in a different climate to people born before. The heat and droughtiness of the half century following the wet 1890s are one of the big “do-not-mentions” of the climate fraud.

  17. Bob_FJ July 6, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Neville @ 9:07 pm

    I have dreams. Like I’d like to see that graph tattooed onto Professor Tim Flannery’s forehead, but then I guess he could always wear a beanie in public. I’d still have the satisfaction of thinking that every time he looked in a mirror, he might gnash his teeth and mutter to himself like…. Darn! What am I going to do about that?

  18. Bob_FJ July 6, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Robert @ 9:30 pm

    Then there are photos showing a dried-up Murray, with horse buggies at a picnic on the long dried-out bed in Easter 1915, and Camels crossing at Mildura in 1914 over a few limpid pools.

  19. Robert July 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Bob, as I’ve mentioned before, in my region, every month but August set its average max record between 1910 and 1920. (Our hottest August by mean max was in 1946). I’d like to give you a reference, but our pre-60s temp records were recently removed from the Elders site.

    The twenties produced the famous Marble Bar readings, the thirties were interesting because of the way the Australian experience mirrored that of Americans in the Dustbowl years.

    Because I actually believe in global warming, it wouldn’t surprise me if the next general dry phase, when it comes, manages to set lots of “records” for the delectation of future climate alarmists. In fact, pseudo-experts and media alarmists were very busy in the previous century – especially over the mid-century cooling – but alarmists don’t like to be reminded of their illustrious predecessors. Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, the WAPO etc have always been pretty trashy in their ponderous, self-important way, and all have eagerly retailed various flavours of climate alarmism since the 19th century.

    People are trying to persuade us that there used to be an “average” climate and that we are now entering a climate of “extremes”. In my part of the world, almost every record for a sustained “extreme” was set more than fifty years back, some before the 20th century. Flood, drought and sustained heat – we copped the lot between the 1890s and 1970s. The early spring of 1999 and summer of 2012 were freakishly cool, there were unforgettable periods of extreme heat around 2000 and 2004 (though of a very different sort). The only climate change that would be truly amazing would be one in which climate really conformed to a mathematical “average”.

    “Average” is a useful concept which can be manipulated to hell. “Extreme” is a vague, less useful concept which can be manipulated to hell and back. Sadly, this is exactly what is happening. Educated people were once taught to hate any statistic on sight, then to slowly like its few good aspects. We now have a generation who’ll get straight into bed with any old “beautiful set of numbers”.

  20. Neville July 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Very interesting post at Jo Nova’s blog about a possible legal challenge to our BOM temp record.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/07/news-legal-action-against-agw/#comments

  21. Debbie July 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Bob FJ,
    Thanks for the link.
    Most of this debate is being driven by false assumptions about the nature of the MDB rainfall patterns, end of system flows and what the regulated sections can actually do.
    SA has more space in the storages and more beneficial regulatory rules than ever before, yet still they whine and complain.
    It is not our fault that their own govt has failed to correctly back up their development aspirations.
    Everybody suffered in the drought, we are equally annoyed with our own state legislators for failing to improve infrastructure and failing to learn the lessons that the recent drought has taught us.
    An attempted smear campaign aimed at Jennifer has just reduced their credibility in the eyes of many in the MDB, including many South Australians.
    You can only deny simple geography, simple physics and basic hydrology for so long.
    Eventually the simplicity will defeat you.
    One of the simplest: If you live near the coast the tides, the ocean & Oceanic weather patterns are a major influence.

  22. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Hi Neville,
    It’s good to be back TRYING to espouse the real facts,
    1) We (those of us downstream of Lock 1 at Blanchetown) are not saying the area was never, “Quite obviously it was an estuarine system” we know there was and the Murray Darling Basin Authority have published the percentages, Lake Alexandrina’s estuarine history was 20% of that history.
    2) As previously stated the first plans were to construct 26 Locks along the River Murray and this was changed and as a trade of for Lake Mulwala the Barrages were constructed!
    Hi Debbie,
    When will you and many others be honest and admit we are not calling Eastern State irrigators thieves
    Re, “Jennifer’s work along with others also shows that for at least 20% of the time, those Lakes had seawater in them” where did JM say that as they are the figures I have been quoting since all the bickering began!
    Re, “Recent monitoring also indicates that even after the massive flush given to the system courtesy of our totally variable climate still shows that sea water makes its way into those lakes” that is why we are calling for a total upgrade of the Barrages!
    Also re, “It has very, very little to do with anything other than the fact that the ocean and oceanic weather conditions are the natural order of things and a HUGE natural influence at the bottom of the MDB system” you have no idea of the weather/tidal/wind conditions in that region!
    Hi Ian,
    Of course the Mulwala canal would not be in existence if not for the tradeoff to construct Lake Mulwala!
    Hi Tony,
    Who said the lower lakes (You mean Lakes Alexandrina and Albert) were not estuarine or did not have some estuarine history?
    Please refer to, “A Fresh History of the Lakes: Wellington to the Murray Mouth, 180
    Hi amcoz,
    Re, “JM, I well remember the ’56 flood, particularly, as my dad spent a weeks on the river helping to sand bag affected towns. What I didn’t know until I read your excellent blog that there is a bloody big barrage across the mouth of the River Murray; no wonder the flood was far more devastating than ought to have been had nature prevailed without it.”
    1) JM’s blog leaves out some facts,
    2) Maybe you read other sources of history as there were many mistakes made leading up to the 1956 flood and the reason the devastation was do great.
    Hi Bob FJ,
    Sea water 250 kilometres up stream of the River’s mouth yes for a short time during the Federation Drought.

  23. Debbie July 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Peter,
    you may have personally stopped calling communities like mine thieves and claiming that we ‘took too much water and you will have to give ig back”.
    But have you listened to your Premier lately?
    By claiming I have no idea are you saying that your proximity to the coast does not influence conditions there?
    That was all I pointed out.
    I have never denied that at least 20% of the time figure. That’s what happens at a tidal estuary system. For a % of the time it is predominately fresh water and for a % it isn’t.
    That’s the simple facts.
    If SA doesn’t want the tidal influences then just be honest.
    It is incredibly easy to lambast the bi polar environmental arguments emanating from SA because they are denying that 20% figure.
    The truth is that unless there are serious upgrades to your regulatory systems there and a willingness to learn the lesson that the drought taught you, those lakes are destined to suffer the same abuse in the next series of low inflow sequences.
    Same goes for your unstable soils along the river flats.
    Buying up GS entitlements from upstream will not solve that problem as they have a lower priority classification and have zero allocation in periods of low inflows.
    SA had already tried that and discovered they don’t deliver.
    The storages and regulatory systems are not able to deliver in those conditions.
    Your Premier seems convinced that we hid SA’s water somewhere. He doesn’t seem to understand that there was only enough for critical purposes and that SA got its share in the same proportionate manner than everyone else.
    The recent massive flushing has also debunked the 2 million tonnes of salt argument.
    So who is being dishonest Peter?

  24. val majkus July 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    SORRY if this has been mentioned
    Barnaby Joyce today:
    Government rowing blindfolded along Murray-Darling

    There is no point buying something if you don’t know what you are going to do with it. The government has to tell us in their Murray Darling Basin Plan exactly where the water they are purchasing is coming from; what will be the economic effects of the place they are taking it from after they purchase it; where are they going to store it; if they have to move it, how exactly are they going to move it to the environmental assets that they want to water; what do they deem to be the benefit to this environmental asset as opposed to the detriment to the economy which this water use to underpin?

    The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia today has logically and sensibly recommended that the government release a water recovery strategy before the introduction of the Basin Plan to parliament. This is something the Coalition has been calling for for years including it in their policy at the last election, along with the non-strategic buyback of water.

    Today’s report by the Standing Committee on Regional Australia shows that the government has been dragging its heels on the Murray Darling for over four years. Apparently we are about to finalise a plan that is going to take away from food production and deliver to the environment up to 3000 gigalitres per year, or the annual equivalent of six Sydney Harbours. This is on the back of other environmental programs in the past that have already delivered water back to the environment.

    Despite this massive undertaking, the government is yet to even develop a water recovery strategy. Meanwhile, it has bought back over 1000 gigalitres in an ad hoc and non-strategic way. When you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.

    The government’s ineptitude has been no better demonstrated than the $23 million that it used to purchase Toorale, which doesn’t actually deliver water into the Darling River. Then there’s the $300 million purchase of Twynham’s water which left Collarenebri high and dry.

    2.1 million people live in the Basin and they are always having to contend with people who live outside the Basin preaching to them about virtues that they would be pretty unhappy to live with if it was forced on them in their catchment. Let’s make sure that the food bowl of Australia is not dealt with in the same incompetent manner as everything else this current arrangement called a government has dealt with.

    6 July 2012

  25. Bob_FJ July 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM @ 2:18 pm

    All this chat about how prolonged various people like to think that significant seawater intrusions occurred and by how much prior to the barrages some seventy (~70) years ago is not crucially important. What is essential is that with significant prolonged drought; that was clearly the recorded natural response, and there must have been gradations in-between depending largely on rainfall. (even you admit to 250 Km upriver in severe drought). Media Watch cited the headline of the following non-peer reviewed article by Ass’ Professor Keith Walker on their website (not on air) ‘Alexandrina always was a freshwater lake’ However, if you open the file, he admits that it was indeed estuarine but then waffles about the extent of it with words like predominantly freshwater. Nothing like a good media headline eh?

    Also it is relevant to quote a small part from my original complaint to the ABC, which was dismissed:

    …A huge paradoxical aspect of this is that generally, environmentalists are loudly insistent on maintaining or restoring natural ecosystems. Yet; despite opposition from such popularists, vested interests and politicians, the AEF stands out for doing just that; in wanting to restore the Murray Estuary to its formerly pristine conditions. Even the iconic environmentalist Prof Tim Flannery had a similar approach at the height of the recent (not unusual) drought. Quoting: The Australian:
    Former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery has backed the controversial option of flooding the Murray’s Lower Lakes with salt water as a “heroic measure” to save their dying ecosystem.
    And this from the SMH, before the “never to happen” floods intervened:
    State and federal water ministers have agreed on a worst-case scenario plan of action to save South Australia’s Lower Lakes from acidification. The plan includes pumping sea water into the freshwater lakes to stop the spread of acid sulphate soil.
    So these AUTHORITIES agreed with the AEF on the crisis then immediately at hand prior to the relieving floods. So much for “bad environmental agenda” accused of the AEF!

    But, then the floods came, oh dear!

    Peter old boy, why do you think that high AUTHORITIES were planning to let the seawater in, in late 2008, targeting for early 2010?

  26. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    Before I begin to answer how did you enjoy the big meeting at Griffith, the meeting of people with nothing better to do!
    Yes I have listened to and spoken to the Premier recently and I have asked him to tone it down and I am sorry but you do not understand the conditions at the Murray River’s mouth and I have said this before and will continue to say it until you do understand!
    Re, “If SA doesn’t want the tidal influences then just be honest” ok we will be honest, we do not want to see the Lower River Murray (Lock 1 Blanchetown to the ocean) turned into a wasteland.
    I really like your comment, “The truth is that unless there are serious upgrades to your regulatory systems there and a willingness to learn the lesson that the drought taught you, those lakes are destined to suffer the same abuse in the next series of low inflow sequences” as you are the expert what should be done, taking into consideration the costs of maintaining the infrastructure in the River Murray including the Barrages is shared: –
    NSW – 38%, Victoria – 35% and South Australia 27%.
    Re, “Same goes for your unstable soils along the river flats” you don’t know about them or enough to comment!
    We know all States received their share during the drought.
    Hi Bob_FJ,
    Re, Keith Walker I know what Keith has and is saying and in some case he is guilty of not explaining fully what has to be said and as I have known Keith for many years I have discussed some of these matters.
    Yes I know what Flannery said and I give him less credence than all other persons espousing crap!
    Re, “Peter old boy, why do you think that high AUTHORITIES were planning to let the seawater in, in late 2008, targeting for early 2010?” as I was a member of that committee we debated this many times and did not support that option.

  27. Debbie July 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Peter?
    What don’t I understand?
    Are you saying that it isn’t influenced by its coastal position?

  28. Dave Shorter July 7, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Peter,
    “the meeting of people with nothing better to do!”
    What do you hope to achieve by sneering at them ?
    That sort of commentry says something about you Peter.

  29. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 7, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Hi Debbie,
    Of course it is influenced by, “its coastal position” but do you understand the winds/tides/etc in the region?
    Hi Dave,
    This is the community that burnt the first ‘guide to the plan’ without reading it I am sorry if I have offended you but meeting to protest is not helping them. It is time for the local community decision makers to sit down together to debate the differences.

  30. Bob_FJ July 7, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    val majkus @ 4:11 pm

    [By Senator Joyce] 2.1 million people live in the Basin and they are always having to contend with people who live outside the Basin preaching to them about virtues that they would be pretty unhappy to live with if it was forced on them in their catchment. Let’s make sure that the food bowl of Australia is not dealt with in the same incompetent manner as everything else this current arrangement called a government has dealt with.

    It bemuses me that it sometimes seems that the further away from the seat of a perceived problem they are, the activists become exponentially more strident and expert about it.
    For instance, even on a small geographic scale, electorally the Greens appear to be more popular in the cities than in the bush. But, to a greater extreme I recall a few years ago that some New Yorker activists seem to be really knowledgeable about our grey kangaroo regional overpopulation problem and that any culling of this one problem species is threatening our kangaroo population. (little matter that human activity has greatly expanded their preferred habitat)

  31. cohenite July 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    “For instance, even on a small geographic scale, electorally the Greens appear to be more popular in the cities than in the bush.

    The irony is the Green constituency is highly urban and will be most disadvantaged by the impacts of the CO2 tax, especially the cost and reliability of electricity; this is called cognitive dissonance.

    The reason why the Greens are concentrated in urban areas is employment related with Green voters being:

    “People working in the arts, education, media and technology industries are more likely to vote Green, and as a result of the distribution of workplaces for these industries having a higher density in the inner suburbs, the people living within close proximity to their workplaces naturally leads to the inner cities having higher levels of Greens voters.”

    From: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/04/15/class-voting-and-broad-left-demography/

    Technology means computers; in other words the Greens are urban elitists with little understanding of what a bitch nature is; wankers all.

  32. Bob_FJ July 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    cohenite @ 5:21 pm
    That’s interesting stuff. It would also be interesting to see a plot of Green voting preferences to café latte consumption and time spent thereon.
    Peter R. Smith OAM @ 8:08 pm
    I need to go into further profound contemplation on your wisdoms and hope to get back to you tomorrow after deeper analysis

  33. Debbie July 8, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    Peter,
    There were over 10,000 people at that Griffith rally.
    How many of them burned books that they hadn’t read?
    Let me assure you that the % was far far less than the minimum 20% sea water history of your patch.
    For someone who claims much wisdom re issues pertaining go the MDB your ignorance beggars disbelief.
    It is the media that loves that ‘book burning’ image.
    The people who live and work in the MIA community are genuine people who have plenty to do.
    They are no different to the people who live and work anywhere else in Australia.
    You have managed to lose all credibility in my eyes.
    Focus on your inept govt and feel free to focus on inept govt in my state.
    Sneering at the people in communities who live and work in the MDB is not going to achieve anything worthwhile.
    You are obviously the one who doesn’t understand.

  34. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 8, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Hi Debbie,
    Re book burning thread the thread that I sent again, I said, “This is the community that burnt the first ‘guide to the plan’ without reading” as shown at that time on the TV picking up the guide from the tables then immediately putting same on the fire!
    Re, “Let me assure you that the % was far far less than the minimum 20% sea water history of your patch” what do you mean by this?
    I realise many/most have not read the History of the Lower Lakes bur does that mean it is not true?
    I have never doubted the genuineness of those, “who live and work in the MIA community” only their seemingly un-stoppable insistence the Barrages are bad!
    Regarding my credibility what you believe is really of no interest to me accept I would like you to visit our area to find out the TRUE FACTS!

  35. Debbie July 8, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Peter,
    I have visited your area and some of my friends and business associates live there.
    In fact I spent some time on Thursday chatting with Jamie Briggs (member for Mayo) and most of yesterday with 4 of my SA friends.
    Many of us understand way more than you realise, including South Australians. I confirmed yesterday with people who live on the SA coast, that your tides, winds, storm patterns etc are essentially little different as influences as areas on the east coast.
    I also re confirmed that information emanating from the SA media & SA Govt & the ACF about the Murray Mouth is misleading.
    It is not possible to ‘flush it out’ because simple geography and simple physics and simple hydrology defeats you.
    The recent drought and the later flooding has proved that what SA wants from the upstream storages is not deliverable. Even if all upstream irrigation was shut down, the current management systems for those lakes is not sustainable when inflows get critically low.
    Seawater has intruded even during the heaviest of flushing from the recent flooding events so ‘freshwater only’ looks rather unsupportable as well.
    The ‘salt’ argument is almost complete nonsense.
    Weatherill seems to believe that we all hid SA’s water somewhere and we have to give it back.
    He can’t seem to understand that SA was treated fairly and that many many farming businesses had their water allocations mined (via conveyance licences) in order for SA to receive critical supplies. That includes SA farming businesses.

  36. Dave Shorter July 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Peter,
    What was so bad about the book burning protest ?
    Nobody was hurt. The copies burnt may have been unread but their contents were well known.
    I don’t see how it entitles you to sneer at a community that is being hit hard for no good reason.

  37. Bob_FJ July 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM @ 8:08 pm
    I’ve read again what you wrote to me, and cogitated through the morning on it but still can’t figure out if you were trying to explain something or what.
    For instance, putting aside that you failed to respond to some points, here are a couple of your wafflings:
    Concerning your undefined discussions with Keith Walker over the years, it is meaningless without describing some content/outcome.
    Might I add that I had an email exchange with him ending 26/03/12 that was unsatisfactory, but by saying just that, what does it mean here? Nothing!
    However if I add that one question I asked concerned his misleading assertion:
    1]“There is unequivocal evidence that the lakes originally were fresh water, and have been so for most of the last 7000 years. This is true of most of Lake Alexandrina, most of the time…”
    Adding that he failed to respond, it then provides some context etcetera.

    [2] You wrote:

    Re, “Peter old boy, why do you think that high AUTHORITIES were planning to let the seawater in, in late 2008, targeting for early 2010?” as I was a member of that committee we debated this many times and did not support that option.

    You did not answer the question. Also, the last sentence is far from clear, like what committee? Was it one that agreed to the measures, or was the disapproving ‘we’ a group with vested interests in the Mannum area?

    Incidentally Senator Joyce gave the population of the MDB area as 2.1 million. How does that compare with a vested interest in this topic down your way? Oh and because I think that Keith Walker is an extremist, and you have known him for years, would you happen to know if he might have a vested interest?

  38. Debbie July 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    And PS Peter,
    I would suggest that you may like to consider your credibility if you truly want local communities to sit down together.
    The communities in the MIA are highly unlikely to give you a hearing if you persist in making the sort of comments about them that you have made here.
    They are nothing like what you have claimed here. They are well read, they respect others and they have plenty to do as most of them (approx 70%) either own or work in small business.
    The small contingent of ‘book burners’ were encouraged by the media at the rally in 2010. They too are good people and they too understand far more than you realise.
    Most of us do not care if you want to keep your barrages. We are however sick and tired of your misleading information about the barrages and the nature of your ecosystems there. The SA environmental stance is based on false assumptions and they have come back to bite you.
    There is no point in wasting billions on modeling and solving the wrong problem.

  39. Sean July 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Debbie,
    I tried through Jennifer’s other contact source to get a list of people and how to contact them with the Lock Zero idea. I have received nil info so far, maybe I might have better luck on her blog site.
    29 March 2012
    Proposed Basin Plan
    Murray-Darling Basin Authority
    GPO Box 3001
    CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
    Submission to : The Murray-Darling Basin Authority on the Proposed Basin Plan
    Lock Zero
    &
    Automation of Barrages

    1. Lock Zero
    Build Lock Zero below Tailem Bend this creates a new pool of 0.75 M between Lock Zero and D/S Lock 1 and protects Adelaide’s water supplies and the Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge, Mannum and Swan Reach pumping stations. It will eliminate the damage the Lower River Murray suffered during the drought. The Lower Lakes pool can then be lowered to 0.50 M AHD (now 0.75 M AHD) save 694 GL.
    2. Re-Engineering the barrage gates
    The Goolwa Barrage gates to be an automated system and with proper management will be able to control the water levels of Lakes Alexandrina and Albert. The pool level could be increased to 0.75 M AHD open the gates at low tide and flush the Goolwa channel out through the Mouth.
    3. Drought Lake Level a minimum of 0.15 M AHD
    The Lower Lakes during dry periods when the levels reach 0.15 M AHD the gates to be opened and allow sea water in to prevent levels dropping further. Gates during those intermediate dry years then only allow enough fresh water to be used to prevent hyper-salinity not water level. i.e. operation changed from maintaining levels to maintaining salinity below a set level. When there is plenty of water, levels could be maintained at present level of 0.75 M AHD if required.
    4. Lake Albert
    Lake Albert to become a transit lake by constructing a channel to the Coorong with an automated gate to allow flushing.

    Yours sincerely
    Sean D. Murphy

    As I have said before Jennifer should have learnt to crawl before she started sprinting.
    Why did she ask Jonas and I to confirm the three points of the petition, then continually keep saying “Remove the barrages” only.

  40. Debbie July 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Sean,
    I can’t answer for Jennifer.
    I do congratulate you however for continuing to speak up for a sensible solution that recognises the problem that needs to be managed.
    What I will point out is that the ACF and the SA govt are to blame for people saying ‘remove the barrages’.
    They have attempted to use bi polar ‘environmental’ arguments and impractical ‘International Treaties’ like Ramsar to claim that their major water woes are caused by ‘upstream’.
    It has been snap easy for organisations like AEF to point out what is environmentally misleading about those arguments and unfortunately for SA, the most obvious answer from an environmental perspective, is to remove the barrages.
    While ever your govt insists on behaving this way, they are essentially making it ever more likely that more and more people will call for the removal of the barrages.
    SA (IMHO) could try some evidence based honesty and take some responsibility instead of attempting to blame everyone else for the lack of water in the drought.
    Your proposal should definitely be put on the table along with others that recognise the real problems that need addressing at the bottom of the system.

  41. Bob_FJ July 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Debbie @ 12:30 pm
    Debbie, you wrote:

    Most of us do not care if you [Peter] want to keep your barrages. We are however sick and tired of your misleading information about the barrages and the nature of your ecosystems there. The SA environmental stance is based on false assumptions and they have come back to bite you.
    There is no point in wasting billions on modeling and solving the wrong problem.

    I guess that Peter R. Smith OAM takes no notice of Jennifer’s warning, (typical for many Oz barrier estuaries or ICOLL’s), but particularly in the case of the Murray, of increasing potential risk of flooding because of continuing growth of Bird Island and other sand-shoaling resulting from those barrages. (or maybe he does not own any low lying land in the area of threat?).

    A partial solution seems to be to remove the Mundoo barrage, or perhaps a compromise of replacing it with a raised roadway that would be acceptable at least to Professors Bourman and Harvey.

    Here is an extract from my original complaint to the ABC, more at:
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/05/media-watch-witch-hunt/#more-9387

    Now please read two extracts from a letter to the MDB Authority from no less than professors Bourman and Harvey dated 23 MARCH 2012, which confirms yet more of the perspective.
    [1] An engineering option that would impact directly on clearing the mouth of accumulated coastal sediments and maintaining an opening to the sea, would be the replacement and automation of Mundoo Barrage, which lies directly inland from the mouth. The most direct route to the sea with the steepest gradient is from Mundoo Barrage. Even given the reduced river flows due to upstream abstractions, which have narrowed the mouth, scouring would be enhanced by flows through the Mundoo (and Boundary Creek) Barrages.
    
[2] Aerial photo showing the vegetated Bird Island and the peninsula above it, which have formed since Mundoo Barrage was permanently closed more than 70 years ago. Renewed river flows through the Holmes Creek (Mundoo Channel) would help to clear these accumulations and more easily maintain the Murray Mouth.

  42. Sean July 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Debbie,
    The Ramsar agreement only about between 97.5 GL and 185 GL only benefits the Coorong the balance of the 1850 GL flows out to sea through the Goolwa Channel. We know the damage that the South East drainage scheme has done to the Coorong.

    RAMSAR AGREEMENT – What was its purpose ?
    The RAMSAR agreement was set up by Dean Brown in 1985 in the days before the acute water shortage became public knowledge and was it a decisive action on securing a defined quantity of water from the Eastern States. This resulted in the MDBA allocating for SA its 1850 GL per annum. A big part of that was SA’s need to meet its new obligations under the RAMSAR agreement which it argued that the water was a necessary part. The RAMSAR agreement covers the Lower Lakes ( and their artificial fresh water environment ) and the Coorong. Everybody knows that since the agreement has been in place, the only direction of the environmental state of this area has been downhill. Twenty years of management and it has declined in value to the point where the ratifying body has allegedly been considering whether to de-register the site as no longer being of international significance.
    The SA Government did they use the RAMSAR agreement as a lever to get a guaranteed water supply so that it could carry out its primary objectives- cheap water for Adelaide in quantities that meant it didn’t have to do anything else. Till recently, it got away with this. John Howard for a decade pleaded with the SA Government to do something about water – and it never did. The RAMSAR agreement and the water allocation gave it enough breathing space so that it didn’t have to act.
    But how did it use its new mandate and the water ?
    Well as far as the Lower Lakes are concerned, that was a no brainer. As long as enough water was flowing down into these bodies then all was well. As long as the agreement kept the water flowing, everybody was happy. How about the Coorong in the meanwhile? Well, the Coorong is a complicated issue in its own right and without going into the full story there was very little or even nothing done for the Northern Coorong body. Occasionally there would be sufficient water to open the Tauwithchere barrages for a month but this did very little in reality for the overall state of the Coorong. How can it? It is an opening at the western end of the North Lagoon leaving the eastern part and the entire Southern Lagoon unaltered. Every time the gates were opened nothing stopped the politicians from beating their chest and saying how good they were managing the Coorong.

    The SA Government why are they still thinking of the fresh water solution?

    The SA Government wants to keep the status quo in order above else. If they talk about making the Lower Lakes an estuarine system, then the basis for the 1,850 Gigalitre allocation goes out the window and they may have to work very hard on alternative water supplies to keep everybody happy. Even though the body of evidence is overwhelming that a fresh water solution is not sustainable, our Government is paralysed with fear at the consequences of changing management strategy to anything else. There is no science in this, despite the perception that there is.
    The RAMSAR agreement was this the cheapest way for the SA Government to build a new 200 GL reservoir for Adelaide’s water supply without using any concrete?

  43. John Sayers July 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    I can’t answer for Jennifer

    so why should you have to? why doesn’t Jennifer reply on her own blog??

  44. jennifer July 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Hi Sean

    There is absolutely no incompatibility with having another lock (above Lake Alexandrina) and also removing the barrages. In short you could restore something close to 100 percent of the Murray River’s estuary and install the lock, the lock that you call lock zero.

    The petition was a joint effort, now promoted by the AEF, and it promotes the concept of a lock. I’ve signed the petition.

    As regards crawling and walking… that might be something you struggle with. But mate, I’m a distance runner.

    Cheers,

  45. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    I am glad you came and looked around I wish you could have let me know so as I could arranged for you to meet with some fourth and fifth generation fisher persons and irrigators. I could also of arranged for you to actually see some of the River flats damage.
    Those people you spoke to re, “I confirmed yesterday with people who live on the SA coast, that your tides, winds, storm patterns etc are essentially little different as influences as areas on the east coast” if they were referring to the River’s mouth they were wrong!
    Regarding flushing you are probably partly right as the Locks retard the flow as do the Barrages and so much less water than when the flow was natural!
    Your comment, “The recent drought and the later flooding has proved that what SA wants from the upstream storages is not deliverable. Even if all upstream irrigation was shut down, the current management systems for those lakes is not sustainable when inflows get critically low” is correct lack of natural flow WHICH CAN NOT BE RETURNED!
    Re, “Seawater has intruded even during the heaviest of flushing from the recent flooding events so ‘freshwater only’ looks rather unsupportable as well” yes we know and that is why the Barrages must be immediately totally upgraded!
    Yes SA was treated as per the agreement there is no argument about that.

    Hi Dave,
    Re, “What was so bad about the book burning protest? Nobody was hurt. The copies burnt may have been unread but their contents were well known” sorry I don’t believe, “their contents were well know!

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    It is obvious we share different views re Keith Walker.
    The Committee was the “Lower River Murray Drought Reference Group” set up by the State Government.
    That committee made recommendations (during the drought) to the State Government!
    No one on that committee had any vested interests in the Mannum area!
    Re Senator Joyce what he espouses is rarely of any interest o the downstream of Lock 1 and I do not believe Keith Walsh is an extremist.

    Hi Debbie,
    No I want all local communities to sit down together.
    The comment, “The communities in the MIA are highly unlikely to give you a hearing if you persist in making the sort of comments about them that you have made here” is what I believe is the problem we are prepared to sit down and have a worthwhile discussion with any group.
    Re, “Most of us do not care if you want to keep your barrages. We are however sick and tired of your misleading information about the barrages and the nature of your ecosystems there. The SA environmental stance is based on false assumptions and they have come back to bite you” you may believe (and that is your choice) that comment our information is not misleading!

    Hi Sean,
    Just keep feeding the information one day they will take notice!

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    Re what Jennifer says I very take any notice!
    I live many kilometres upstream of the Barrages and my land is some 300’ above pool level but removing any one Barrage would just cause massive problems!
    Re, “An engineering option that would impact directly on clearing the mouth of accumulated coastal sediments and maintaining an opening to the sea would be the replacement and automation of Mundoo Barrage” yes the Mundoo Barrage should one of the first for a total upgrade!

  46. Johnathan Wilkes July 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    prs

    “Regarding flushing you are probably partly right as the Locks retard the flow as do the Barrages and so much less water than when the flow was natural!

    Rubbish!
    The locks merely delay the flow.
    Once the level rises over the top it’s all the go to the sea, same as before, but the barrages certainly slow it down so there is one of your glaring problems you so assiduously try to sidestep and marginalise its impact on the whole system.

  47. Sean July 8, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Hi Jennifer,

    “The petition was a joint effort, now promoted by the AEF, and it promotes the concept of a lock. I’ve signed the petition”.
    That’s great you signed it. I thought you would have signed it not Kate Jennings.

    “As regards crawling and walking… that might be something you struggle with”.
    Your quite correct at my age the sporting injuries through Athletics and Aussie rules have caught up with me, so I ride my bike around the river at Goolwa ( even had a New Zealand fur seal in Currency Creek recently)and the Southern Fleurieu Peninsular.

    “But mate, I’m a distance runner”.
    Jennifer in my eyes you are still a sprinter not a distance runner.

    We currently have a seal colony d/s of the Goolwa barrage near the Lock and Hindmarsh Island.

  48. Debbie July 9, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Peter,
    So many of you need to listen to people like Sean who has the courage to recognise the real problem developing in SA and which the drought and following flooding magnified.
    As people try to point out, simple geography, simple physics and simple hydrology to you… here are the sort of replies with all their bi polar rhetorical questions and extra exclamation marks that you deliver.

    Of course it is influenced by, “its coastal position” but do you understand the winds/tides/etc in the region?
    our information is not misleading!
    if they were referring to the River’s mouth they were wrong!
    what he espouses is rarely of any interest
    only their seemingly un-stoppable insistence the Barrages are bad!
    you don’t know about them or enough to comment!
    you do not understand the conditions at the Murray River’s mouth and I have said this before and will continue to say it until you do understand!
    Re, “Recent monitoring also indicates that even after the massive flush given to the system courtesy of our totally variable climate still shows that sea water makes its way into those lakes” that is why we are calling for a total upgrade of the Barrages!
    Also re, “It has very, very little to do with anything other than the fact that the ocean and oceanic weather conditions are the natural order of things and a HUGE natural influence at the bottom of the MDB system” you have no idea of the weather/tidal/wind conditions in that region!

    I have a very, very simple question for you Peter,
    Even if half of what you keep saying is correct…..
    How come sea water intruded into your systems in the middle of the massive flushing your system received in recent times?
    You keep saying it’s because you need to upgrade the barrages….but that is not answering the question that is attached to simple geography, simple physics and simple hydrology.
    If sea water managed to intrude under those conditions….SA’s arguments about the lack of fresh water flushing, salt intrusions and your comments about the influence of coastal position are simply not supportable.
    Mother Nature has exposed you.
    Under those conditions, according to your own arguments….the barrages being open should not have mattered….how did those winds and tides etc manage to get so far into the system at the same time that you were getting an almighty fresh water flush that the storage and regulatory systems could never ever duplicate?
    And the South Australians I mentioned were certainly referring to the Murray Mouth….where else would the sea water come from Peter?
    They aren’t wrong Peter…they live and work there….they were just being candid and honest.
    Like Sean…they know that their Govt is telling Porkies.
    Righ alongside groups like the ACF.

  49. Sean July 9, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Debbie,
    Is this the info you are referring to ?

    NOTES on LATEST SEA WATER INTRUSIONS
    (June 14 to June 26, 2012)
    In their weekly report of June 15, the SA Govt said:
    BARRAGE OPERATIONS AND WATER LEVELS IN THE LOWER LAKES
    The water level in Lake Alexandrina is approximately 0.49m AHD and the level in Lake Albert is approximately0.58m AHD.
    Over the last week and a half, low tide and low swell conditions in the Southern Ocean adjacent to the Murray Mouth have allowed for maximum barrage outflows, resulting in a reduction in lake levels. Barrage operators have taken advantage of a period of equipment maintenance to undertake this lowering event, as part of a longer-term lake fluctuation trial designed to flush salt from Lake Albert. Lake levels will be raised to 0.75 m AHD in the
    following weeks.
    Barrage operations are continuing to maximise the opportunities to release water from the Lower Lakes, taking into account high swells, tides and winds. Although reverse head conditions are experienced at times, there are negligible impacts on Lake Alexandrina salinity. Releases are monitored carefully and managed to minimise seawater ingress during reverse head conditions, and also to release enough water to prevent high lake levels.
    Occasionally, residents and landholders located near the barrages may observe increased salinity in the area’s waterways due to reverse head conditions. With large volumes of fresh River Murray water still flowing into Lake Alexandrina, any salinity spikes will be short-lived.
    Water levels and barrage operations are monitored closely by the various agencies of the South Australian Government, Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.

    Initially up to and in excess of approx 300 barrage gates were open (June 14) and Lake levels were in the order of 0.5m AHD.

    That week was a period of predicted astronomical neap tides with a maximum height of only about 0.5m so in theory there should have been little danger of major reverse flows. However the remnant of the severe Perth storm event was forecast to cross the area. The severity of this event was far less than originally predicted but it did cause sea levels to rise (to a max of 0.85m at Barker Knoll).

    This small head difference of about 0.35m between tide and Lake levels was sufficient to reverse flows to such an extent that salinities upstream of the Goolwa Barrage increased to 39,000EC (June 14) and even 13,000EC at Clayton (June 16) 20 km upstream of the Mouth. Increases in salinities were also recorded upstream of the other barrages (eg 38,000 EC upstream of Ewe Is Barrage).

    The period following the initial intrusion was one of spring tides, low barometric pressure and some wind and high tide level rose to 0.95m at Barker Knoll. These tides produced further daily reversals of flow and on June 22 salinities at Point Sturt rose to 1700EC.
    Coincidentally? the next day the salinity at Milang rose abruptly from 350 to 550EC.

    Upstream of the Currency Creek regulator salinities rose from about 1000 to 2600EC.

    Salinities today (June 26) are now declining quickly but still about 2000 at the HI Bridge.

    A contributing factor to the massive flow reversal was probably the decline in river flow over this period which dropped from 44GL/d on June 4 to 17GL/d on June 26 at Lock 1.

    (June 29 to July 3)

    A low pressure system, ocean swells and wind again produced a significant flow reversal and although most of the barrage gates have been closed, salinities at the HI Bridge have risen to 4600EC and upstream of Ewe Island barrage to 16,000. Flow over Lock 1 has increased slightly to 19GL/d.

    This is the second successive year we have seen this winter pattern of events since the barrages were reopened in late 2010. Conclusions to date seem to be:
    -Naturally when river flows were generally at their lowest this time of the year and with winter sea and meteorological conditions, saline intrusions and perhaps continuous saline conditions would be prevalent.
    – Small differences in head (water level differences) can reverse flows significantly and a permanent rise in sea level will have major consequences.
    -The additional recovery of 2750GL/y (equivalent to 7.5GL/day) or any other value will have little impact on sea water intrusion in the future as the ocean will be dominant.

  50. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 9, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Johnathan,
    What a load of crap, “The locks merely delay the flow” how can infrastructure constructed crossing the River not retard natural flow? On the upstream side of all Locks other than Torrumbarry (Which opens from the bottom) there is a massive build up of silt that has been accumulating since the Locks were constructed. It is time all of the Locks were upgraded with at least the centre gate system opening from the bottom!
    Yes while the water flows over the top of a Lock it is far less retarded and we totally agree the Barrages are a massive constraint (that is why they were built) and they also need IMMEDIATE upgrading!

    Hi Debbie,
    Re, “How come sea water intruded into your systems in the middle of the massive flushing your system received in recent times?” the Barrages leak, take too long to open and close and during periods of high and king tides the water comes over the top the Barrages MUST be totally upgraded.
    Re the next paragraph, crap, if the total upgrade was carried out Barrage problem solved.
    Could you please explain SO FAR in your comment, “how did those winds and tides etc manage to get so far into the system at the same time that you were getting an almighty fresh water flush that the storage and regulatory systems could never ever duplicate.”

  51. Bob_FJ July 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM,
    You talk about sitting down with all the communities to hold a discussion. Herewith I trace just one Q&A sequence I’ve initiated with you and wonder what would be the point if you are involved!
    Concerning reference to high AUTHORITY below, the following newspaper reports relate”
    The Australian: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/heroic-action-sought-for-lakes/story-e6frg6p6-1111116892042
    SMH: http://news.smh.com.au/national/radical-plan-to-save-sas-lower-lakes-20081114-66sd.html

    Q1 Peter old boy, why do you think that high AUTHORITIES were planning to let the seawater in, in late 2008, targeting for early 2010?

    A1 Yes I know what Flannery said and I give him less credence than all other persons espousing crap!… …as I was a member of that committee we debated this many times and did not support that option.

    Q2 You [Peter] did not answer the question. Also, [your] last sentence is far from clear, like what committee? Was it one that agreed to the measures, or was the disapproving ‘we’ a group with vested interests in the Mannum area?

    A2 The Committee was the “Lower River Murray Drought Reference Group” set up by the State Government. That committee made recommendations (during the drought) to the State Government! No one on that committee had any vested interests in the Mannum area!

    Q2a I Googled “Lower River Murray Drought Reference Group” and at a quick glance could not find any government references other than citations on SA Gov websites. When and how was it set up by the State Government?

    Q2b One PDF listed 20 members including the Member for Hammond and all appeared to be non-scientists. It included the likelihood of vested interests such as with the several Vignerons involved. You were not listed as a member at that time. Are you sure there were no vested interests in the committee? http://www.coorong.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/report_of_the_reference_group.pdf

    Q2c That same PDF claimed in 2006/7(?): The current drought affecting the regions is unprecedented. Do you agree?

    Q2d On your own website where you claim to be a member of the committee, you also claim to be: One of Al Gore’s and the Australian Conservation Foundation’s “Climate Change Presenters”. Are you aware that the British High Court has ruled that at least nine major points in the Gore movie were false? (they also effectively banned it from being shown in British schools).

    This is over just one point, and my conclusion is that you have zero credibility.

  52. Debbie July 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Yes Sean,
    That was some of what I was referring to….also information from some of my friends who have reason to work in that area.
    They’re rather annoyed at the condition of the roads they’re driving on and the resultant SALT WATER DAMAGE that is happening to their vehicles and machinery.
    As Bob FJ pointed out earlier, the ever growing Bird Island and other shoaling is creating extra flooding risks from natural tidal and oceanic weather patterns.
    Peter,
    You are still not answering my question.
    I am aware that the barrages have gone way past their ‘use by’ date, along with a great deal of other infrastructure along the entire system.
    We are just as annoyed with our own State Govt for neglecting necessary infrastructure upgrades.
    Whether the barrages are open or closed, left as they are or upgraded, is immaterial to my question.
    The system down there has been getting a massive fresh water flush….way more than the regulatory systems could ever hope to provide….because it was delivered courtesy of our own highly variable climate.
    IT IS A NATURAL FLUSH!
    If the answer is flushing or pulsing with fresh water….and you claim that the ocean and oceanic conditions are not as influencial as Jennifer and others claim…..
    How did that sea water intrude so far into the system?????
    Look at the figures that Sean has provided….all verifiable.
    All the way to Milang it suddenly rose from 350 to 550EC?
    How could that have possibly happened even if the barrages were open?
    According to you….the ocean/tides and winds etc…..couldn’t possibly have that sort of influence under the sort of fresh water flushing that was occuring.
    According to you….we don’t understand how the tides and winds and oceanic weather behaves at the Murray Mouth.
    So where did it come from Peter?
    Maybe you would also like to explain why there is a colony of seals hanging around down there?
    So what’s actually natural Peter?
    What’s the obvious ‘environmental’ answer?
    I don’t necessarily believe it’s the best answer…..but it is the obvious one.
    It serves SA right that more and more people are calling for the removal of the barrages.
    If you don’t want that to happen….you may like to try and focus on your own state parochial politics that has attempted to use bi polar environmental arguments to argue for ever more room in the upstream storages and ever more beneficial regulatory rule changes….in the name of ‘the environment’!!!!!!

  53. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    Re, “You talk about sitting down with all the communities to hold a discussion. Herewith I trace just one Q&A sequence I’ve initiated with you and wonder what would be the point if you are involved!” we are all entitled to our view and to be at the table.
    Re,
    “Q1 Peter old boy, why do you think that high AUTHORITIES were planning to let the seawater in, in late 2008, targeting for early 2010?
    Answer, it was being considered to cover acid sulphate soils!
    Also I disregard Flannery most of the time!
    Re,
    Q2 You [Peter] did not answer the question. Also, [your] last sentence is far from clear, like what committee? Was it one that agreed to the measures, or was the disapproving ‘we’ a group with vested interests in the Mannum area?
    Answer, we made decisions after listening to many persons including invited guests including scientific representatives. And never were the, “vested interests in the Mannum area” put forward!
    Re, Q2a I Googled “Lower River Murray Drought Reference Group” and at a quick glance could not find any government references other than citations on SA Gov websites. When and how was it set up by the State Government?
    Answer the committee was set up, I think it was 2003 and I attended all but a couple of meetings! Re, “It included the likelihood of vested interests such as with the several Vignerons involved” vested interests were discussed including the pipeline from the River Murray to Currency Creek and of course some members had vested interests as their input was also important!
    Re,
    “Q2d On your own website where you claim to be a member of the committee, you also claim to be: One of Al Gore’s and the Australian Conservation Foundation’s “Climate Change Presenters”. Are you aware that the British High Court has ruled that at least nine major points in the Gore movie were false? (they also effectively banned it from being shown in British schools).
    Answer, firstly my web site is in urgent need of upgrading and I don’t know how to do that I am waiting to have it done.
    Yes I am aware of that information and I am entitled to do as I please and re, “This is over just one point, and my conclusion is that you have zero credibility” and re, “my conclusion” what you think doesn’t bother me!

    Hi Debbie,
    Oh Debbie, what a load of crap, “because it was delivered courtesy of our own highly variable climate” yes our variable climate but also because the water cannot be contained so is dunning towards the River’s mouth.
    Re Jennifer’s claim regretfully I don’t take a lot of notice of her claims re the Lower River Murray!
    Re, “How did that sea water intrude so far into the system” how far are you saying it got into the system?
    Re, “According to you….the ocean/tides and winds etc…..couldn’t possibly have that sort of influence under the sort of fresh water flushing that was occuring” you DON’T the area.
    Re, “Maybe you would also like to explain why there is a colony of seals hanging around down there” yes the water is saline and this happens because of the conditions and the problems with the Barrages!
    It really doesn’t matter how many call for the removal of the Barrages (most of them have little understanding of the region) as Minister Bourke continues to espouse the removal of the Barrages IS NOT on the table.

  54. Debbie July 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Peter!
    Read Sean’s information above.
    The sea water got a fair way in did it not?
    He also gives the km figs. According to your loudly claimed opinion of people like me….I wouldn’t know anyway because once again you’ve said so, with all the usual expletives and exclamations….but I think Sean does….don’t you?
    Are you claiming those figures are crap too? (and added expletives)????
    Did the seals tell you they have moved there because of problems with the barrages?
    Are you saying that the sea water is still getting in DESPITE the fact there there is plenty of fresh water available….way, way more than anything that the regulatory systems could deliver there????
    How is that possible Peter?
    According to all your fresh water related arguments….it should not be happening even if the barrages were wide open.
    I don’t think Seals pay a lot of attention to such things do they?
    They’re more interested in stuff like food and tidal behaviour aren’t they?
    And Peter?
    Are you placing your faith in Minister Burke?
    Don’t forget he is first and foremost a politician….led by another one who clearly stated “There will be no carbon tax in a govt that I lead”….
    My conclusion to that one is she musn’t be leading the Govt….
    Or maybe politicians speak with forked tongues???
    Or maybe broad statements like ‘removal of the barrages IS NOT on the table’…are not something we should hang our hats on???
    Politicians are numbers people Peter….it will matter greatly to Burke how many people are calling for the removal of the barrages….and because of the silly, bi polar, environmental, parochial arguments coming out of the mouths of your politicians….more and more people are indeed calling for the removal of the barrages….it’s the obvious simple answer to all SA’s stated ‘environmetally based’ problems.
    Is it the best answer for all involved?
    I certainly wouldn’t think it’s the best one for South Australians….so maybe the South Australian politicians should stop exacerbating the problem????
    No one can help you while Weatherill is screeching that it is everybody else’s fault.

  55. Bob_FJ July 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Calling all rational people,

    I’ve just received a letter from Ms McLiesh of the ABC, (servant of the people/taxpayers), which rejected my new complaint which is the subject of this thread. Despite much background correspondence with her not presented on this website, in which I repeatedly stated that my complaint was exclusively about many misleading statements targeting Jennifer and the AEF, the ABC effectively insists that that is irrelevant because the aim of Media Watch was to criticise the generally uncritical reporting on science by the media. Well OK, I repeatedly stated to Ms McLiesh that I broadly accept the basic premise of criticising uncritical reporting. However, that was NOT the subject of my complaint, and that does not entitle the ABC to trample over the reputation of a respected hard-working environmental scientist and her colleagues.

    Take for example this slur from Ms McLiesh which I two-finger copy-type:
    … firstly, that Dr Marohasy’s claim that the study was peer reviewed was an exaggeration…

    Oh really? It is unambiguously stated in the addenda of her report within the acknowledgements, that it was peer reviewed by Prof Ridd alone, no exaggeration at all!

    Ho hum, I guess I’ll have to try and wake-up my old scanner and its OCR to try and disseminate the small font letter from the ABC, upon which I should comment more.

  56. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    I know what Sean is saying and have never accused him of misleading anyone but I still say you do not understand!
    Re, “Did the seals tell you they have moved there because of problems with the barrages?” this is not the first time and won’t be the last and no I can’t talk to the seals but you probably could as you seem to be living with the fairies!
    Please read what I have previously, the barrages and the high and king tides come over the top, that is how it is possible!
    And re, “According to all your fresh water related arguments….it should not be happening even if the barrages were wide open” as I have said you don’t understand!
    Re Minister Bourke I really don’t believe much of what he says but the last time he spoke to me he re-iterated that the Barrages would not be being removed and I hope he sticks to that.

  57. Debbie July 10, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Peter,
    You are partly correct.
    I do not understand you at all.
    In the face of overwhelming evidence you still claim things like the lower lakes will be a wasteland if sea water gets in.
    Yet the sea water already gets in even in times of huge fresh water inflows.
    You still claim that the lower lakes can be managed by ‘pulsing’ or ‘flushing’ with water in times of low inflows.
    Yet in times of low inflows the water you want to flush with will not exist.
    You still claim that the tides/ winds etc are not a significant influence at the mouth.
    Yet you then say things like this:
    the high and king tides come over the top.
    What is it that I don’t understand Peter?
    It seems that you want to deny simple geography, simple physics and simple hydrology.
    It seems you want to deny the natural environment.

  58. Debbie July 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    BTW,
    It’s p***ing down here on top of a wet catchment, rather full rivers and very full storages.
    Looks like more ‘environmental’ flows are on their way to SA.
    Wonder what those seals will do?
    Wonder what those tides will do?
    Wonder what Weatherill will say?

  59. Bob_FJ July 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM @ 2:18 pm
    I wonder if you are aware that your latest waffle addressed to me contains a number of contradictions and/or incomplete context compared with your earlier claims. For instance, although you are not listed as one of the twenty members in the referenced 2006/7(?) report you allege that you attended most meetings and think the committee was set-up in 2003 without defining how or by whom. (as asked of you). Earlier you made a statement possibly contradicting the late 2008 plan supported by federal and state water ministers and others to flood the lakes with seawater to save them. (I think! It’s hard to translate some of your stuff)

    However, perhaps the most stunning thing is that although much of the propaganda movie by Al Gore has been comprehensively shown to be false, (effectively banned in British schools), you support it as true. That is pure dogma, and you have no credibility

  60. Sean July 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi All,
    Copy of an E Mail sent to me last night by my little mate Coorong Mullet.
    We have a once-in-a-generation chance to create a healthy Murray-Darling river system and we’re not going to stand by and let our River suffer any longer.
    Will you help spread the word to five friends and encourage them to join the campaign?
    Did you know that decades of over-allocation upstream, made worse by the recent drought, have had a devastating effect on the River Murray environment and the communities who depend on it:

    1. Up to 20,000 hectares of acid sulfate soils were exposed in the Lower Lakes � this is the same acid that’s in car batteries

    2. Water flows were so low that over eight years, 6.5 million tonnes of sand had to be dredged from the Murray Mouth to ensure salt and other pollutants could be flushed out of the river system

    3. Parts of the Coorong were five times saltier than the sea

    4. There were more than 161 incidents of riverbank collapse. Soil, trees and even vehicles collapsed into the water with little or no warning

    5. Thirty three wetlands had to be cut off from the River to save water.
    We need to create a groundswell of support right across the country that our River needs more water.

    But we have a draft Basin Plan on the table that sells out the River. It doesn’t put enough water back in the Murray to keep it healthy.
    Send a message to five friends that they should join the fight.
    Thanks for your on-going support and we’ll keep you posted about the campaign.
    Yours
    The Fight for the Murray Team
    http://www.fightforthemurray.com.au
    P.S Share the campaign with your family and friends here, join the campaign on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

  61. Bob_FJ July 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Debbie @ 12:07 pm
    It’s been rather damp and cold down my way in a NE suburb of Melbourne and our city water storages are very healthy! (and regional storages wow!)

    Sean @ 1:54 pm
    You quote an email from one ‘Coorong Mullet’ to you.
    Are you implying that this is a view that you support or what?

  62. Sean July 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Bob_FJ,

    It is a name I use now and then when quoting some information down here in Goolwa. I usually say while out riding my bike I had a chat with C.M. and etc. I have used it a couple of times when replying to “my old mate” Peter Smith.
    It is an e mail he has received from the S.A. Govt and is ckecking with us if we had received it which I hadn’t. Coorong M. has forwarded the information onto me which he does to a few others to make sure we have sited it and vice versa.
    We definitely don’t support the above July 10th,2012 at 1.54 pm.

  63. Debbie July 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    That petition exemplifies why it has become almost impossible to help SA solve the real problems that are developing at the bottom of the system.They are still trying to ride on the back of a rapidly failing and entirely absurd ‘environmental’ argument.

    They know perfectly well that the Coorong hypersalinity has almost nothing to do with any perceived lack of water in the Murray. It has everything to do with SA’s own SE drainage works.

    They know perfectly well that the drying lakes was because of a millenium drought AND that they got their proportionate share of the available water….they also know that upstream conveyance licences were used to get it there….which put some upstream irrigators (like us) into a negative allocation (I kid you not!!!)

    They know perfectly well that the shoaling of the mouth was caused by the strange behaviour of the tides and the southern ocean in that period of time.

    Yet they claim that all their woes will be solved by putting more water in the river!!!!

    And where must that water supposedly come from and where do they think it must be kept?
    Because you see, in the world according to Weatherill & the SA Govt, we all hid that water somewhere in the drought and now we have to give it back!!!

    It is complete and utter nonsense….and the sad part is that there are genuine problems developing in SA and they do need help to rectify them.

    They are not however related to the ‘natural environment’ and the irony is that the ‘natural environment’ is actually the entity which has exposed the lies.

    It is the ‘human environment’, inneficient and outdated infrastructure and the failure of SA govts to adequately back up their development aspirations which is the problem that needs attention.

    The same also applies to other states.

    There is no point in wasting everyone’s time and money pretending to solve the wrong problem.

  64. Bob_FJ July 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Sean @ 3:16 pm

    We definitely don’t support the above July 10th,2012 at 1.54 pm.

    Well thanks for that. For instance I was puxxled by:

    4. There were more than 161 incidents of riverbank collapse. Soil, trees and even vehicles collapsed into the water with little or no warning

    What has that to do with the price of cheese?

    Nearby where my dogs sometimes take me for a walk there have been three recent remarkable collapses on the banks of the Plenty River, a “creek” that I’ve often hopped over in the summer. Earlier in the year various footbridges were demolished several times in hard to believe raging flood in the gorge. So what the…..has item 4 got to do with what?

  65. Johnathan Wilkes July 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Debbie,

    Yet the sea water already gets in even in times of huge fresh water inflows.
    You still claim that the lower lakes can be managed by ‘pulsing’ or ‘flushing’ with water in times of low inflows.

    If I understand correctly how the barrages currently work, the “flushing” will ever only be partially successful. As the barrages are opened by removing the top panels, mostly the lighter, fresh water will flow over them instead of the heavier salty water.
    Not to mention the sediment accumulating at the bottom of the lakes and near the barrages for the lack of stirring action of tides.

    Peter likes name dropping and lives in his own universe disregarding any other opinion let alone facts.

  66. Sean July 10, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Bob_FJ,
    4. There were more than 161 incidents of riverbank collapse. Soil, trees and even vehicles collapsed into the water with little or no warning

    What has that to do with the price of cheese?

    That was caused by allowing the Lower Lakes to fall to – 1.00 M AHD. The damage was done between Wellington and d/s Lock 1 at Blanchetown.
    They connected the Lower Lakes with potable from Tailem Bend and a new pump station at Jervois for the new irrigation pipeline from there through to Currency Creek. We are trying to get Lock Zero to be built below Tailem Bend to protect Adelaide’s water supply and create a new pool level of 0.75 M AHD between Lock Zero and d/s Lock 1 to replace the current pool between the Barrages and d/s Lock 1.

  67. Debbie July 11, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    River banks respond to variable conditions too.
    It is actually ‘natural’ for that to happen.
    It’s us humans who insist on living near the coast and along river banks who have the problem.
    That is one of the reasons why all these so called ‘environmental arguments’ are not solving anything.
    Sean is actually focusing on the real issues.
    We need to update our regulatory infrastrucure because conditions along our rivers and at the bottom of the system have changed.
    If water is involved, that’s actually normal!
    Despite Peter saying otherwise, it’s not hard to understand simple geography, simple physics and simple hydrology.
    Over time, rivers, river mouths, estuaries, coastlines & all manner of other waterways will change how they behave.
    It’s the human environment that wants to maintain status quo, not the natural environment.

  68. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 11, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Hi Debbie,
    You still don’t understand if Lakes Alexandrina and Albert become seawater in times of low flow they will become hypersaline and the River to Lock 1 at Blanchetown will also become non-potable (seawater) killing all freshwater reliant flora and fauna!
    Dr, “Yet the sea water already gets in even in times of huge fresh water inflows” yes when gates are closed seawater leaks in and as I have said so many times the high/king tides come over the top of the Barrages, uou don’t understand!
    Re, “You still claim that the lower lakes can be managed by ‘pulsing’ or ‘flushing’ with water in times of low inflows” YES if Lock Zero is constructed!!
    Re, “Yet in times of low inflows the water you want to flush with will not exist” WRONG it could/will be stored above Lock Zero.
    Re, I do not claim “claim that the tides/ winds etc are not a significant influence at the mouth” they are an influencing factor in the negative, you don’t understand.
    Re, “It seems you want to deny the natural environment” how can we have a ‘natural environment’ without removing all regulators, weirs and dams?
    Re, “Looks like more ‘environmental’ flows are on their way to SA” are we supposed to thank the Eastern States no it is only continuing to come over the border as the Easter States can’t store it!
    YOU STILL DON”T UNDERSTEND THE LRM!

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    The LRMDRG was set up by the then Minister for the River Murray Karlene Maywald and chaired by the Hon Dean Brown AM.
    Whilst you say, “Earlier you made a statement possibly contradicting the late 2008 plan supported by federal and state water ministers and others to flood the lakes with seawater to save them” the study was never completed and was NEVER supported by the SA Government. There were also another study into pumping out the Southern Lagoon of the Coorong and filling it with seawater and whilst that study was completed it never happened as flooding rains fell in Qld, NSW and Vic.
    Re, “Al Gore” I have seen most information for and against ‘Climate Change’ own opinion is not of support and I have never said I support all of any information and by the way am still a registered presenter though have not presented since 2009!

    Hi Sean,
    Thanks.

    Hi Debbie,
    Re that petition, I venture to say that 90% or more DO NOT understand the LRM and your comment, “It has everything to do with SA’s own SE drainage works” is wrong!
    Oh Debbie, “They know perfectly well that the shoaling of the mouth was caused by the strange behaviour of the tides and the southern ocean in that period of time” are you finally admitting the tides in the area are not the same as on the Eastern states?
    Re, “They are not however related to the ‘natural environment’ and the irony is that the ‘natural environment’ is actually the entity which has exposed the lies” the natural environment CAN NEVER BE AGAIN without returning the River back to natural!
    Re, “They are not however related to the ‘natural environment’ and the irony is that the ‘natural environment’ is actually the entity which has exposed the lies” could you please stop the SA bashing?.

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    Re, “4. There were more than 161 incidents of riverbank collapse. Soil, trees and even vehicles collapsed into the water with little or no warning. What has that to do with the price of cheese?”
    I believe Sean is pointing out the problems that occurred when the pool level downstream of Lock 1 dropped by over two metres and that bank collapsing caused MILLIONS of dollars damage much of which is un-repairable the biggest collapse incident about 250 metres by 30 metres.
    Lack of understanding the Lower River Murray is still a major problem!

    Hi Johnathan,
    Thanks for your contribution to the thread but if you had bothered to understand what we are trying to get across the BARRAGES need a total upgrade that means all gates should open from the bottom, the gates need to be raised and completely automated. And yes, “As the barrages are opened by removing the top panels, mostly the lighter, fresh water will flow over them instead of the heavier salty water” this must be changed.

    Hi Sean
    Keep up telling them one day they will understand!

    Hi Debbie,
    Re, “River banks respond to variable conditions too” this is the first time that this damage has been seen and recorded in the LRM
    Also re, “Despite Peter saying otherwise, it’s not hard to understand simple geography, simple physics and simple hydrology” no it is not hard to understand and I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS the hydrology (the pool level) must not be allowed to be any lower than +0.5-metres between Loc 1 and Wellington!

  69. Debbie July 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Peter,
    The Coorong is starved of fresh water because of the SE drainage systems/networks that SA built.
    It has very little to do with Murray River flows or the management of the barrages.
    No more than 10% of fresh water that was geographically available to the Coorong came from Murray River flows.
    If you would stop being so reactive and adversarial and actually listen to people like Sean, you might understand that most ordinary people want the same thing.
    It is actually SA that keeps pretending that the problem is ‘environmental’.
    Of course we need to upgrade. Why do you keep screeching that we are saying otherwise?
    Those barrages are no longer delivering what is required of them along with numerous other outdated regulatory structures.
    Stop relying on stupid bi polar ‘environmental’ arguments and you might actually start gaining some positive results.
    The fresh water, entirely ephemeral fauna and flora have just demonstrated they are perfectly OK.
    That’s not the problem.
    The natural environment has no interest in co operating with you.

  70. Bob_FJ July 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Sean,
    That is interesting about the river bank damage apparently caused because of low water levels in the lakes. Was that before or after late 2008? (When Flannery and water ministers were planning to save the lakes by letting seawater in)

  71. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    Your comment, “The Coorong is starved of fresh water because of the SE drainage systems/networks that SA built” once again WRONG as that system was good for some water last century but now alas that water is now too saline has is full of nutrients so is no good.
    Re, “The fresh water, entirely ephemeral fauna and flora have just demonstrated they are perfectly OK” once again if the River Murray from Lake Alexandrina to Lock 1 was seawater the damage would be massive..
    Re, “The natural environment has no interest in co operating with you” natural is no longer an option, you don’t understand!

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    That damage first occurred in 2006 and continued at various levels until pool was achieved!

  72. Bob_FJ July 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Sean,
    I see that Peter R Smith OAM has replied to me on a question on your behalf, that river bank collapse started in 2006. Because I cannot regard his commentary as reliable, could you please elaborate on this? There are several considerations that immediately occur to me as to why the banks might collapse:

    • Undercutting by a lowered river flow, despite that the rate of flow was reduced.
    • Gravitational effects
    • Unusual soil shrinkage/cracking
    • Violent rainstorms. (as witnessed by me at the Plenty River, whilst river levels were above average)

    Do you think that it is a bit odd that in late 2008, Flannery, water ministers and advisors were concerned about protecting the lakes from salinity effects without mention of river bank collapse?

  73. Sean July 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Bob_FJ,

    Both as Peter said.
    Clayton regulator in October, 2009 helped Goolwa Channel get it back to the pool level of 0.75 M AHD and with the Goolwa lock being used it dropped to -0.059 M AHD end of April, 2010. The section between Clayton and d/s Lock 1 was left to rot well after Tim Flannery’s meeting. Clayton’s regulator was partly opened in September, 2010 and the pool level from the barrage back to d/s of Lock 1 was still struggling as the river level was still only 0.458 M (AHD) end of December, 2010.

  74. Bob_FJ July 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Further to my 5:24pm
    It is interesting to note that my local normally gentle Plenty River, is perhaps better described as a creek and one can often step over it in summer. It runs through a series of gorges with several substantial pedestrian come “parks” vehicle bridges that would seem to be way above flood level. Yet astonishingly these bridges have been repeatedly substantially taken-out by raging torrents also flattening trees and whatnot. Yet, none of these events have resulted in collapse of the banks. The remarkable collapses that I’ve referred to occured with violent rainstorms whilst the river flow was nowhere near as high as in the violent flood episodes. (fortunately not on a river flat)

  75. Bob_FJ July 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Sean,
    Oh that’s strange, I see that my post of 5:24pm has disappeared:
    Here it is again:
    Sean,
    I see that Peter R Smith OAM has replied to me on a question on your behalf, that river bank collapse started in 2006. Because I cannot regard his commentary as reliable, could you please elaborate on this? There are several considerations that immediately occur to me as to why the banks might collapse:

    • Undercutting by a lowered river flow, despite that the rate of flow was reduced.
    • Gravitational effects
    • Unusual soil shrinkage/cracking
    • Violent rainstorms. (as witnessed by me at the Plenty River, whilst river levels were above average)

    Do you think that it is a bit odd that in late 2008, Flannery, water ministers and advisors were concerned about protecting the lakes from salinity effects without mention of river bank collapse?

  76. Debbie July 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Peter,
    the SE drainage networks diverted water AWAY from the Coorong and sent it out to sea.
    That’s why it has become hyper saline.
    Water from the Murray had virtually nothing to do with it.
    The mantra emanating from SA is incorrect.
    Ask Sean.

  77. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    Re, “The remarkable collapses that I’ve referred to occurred with violent rainstorms whilst the river flow was nowhere near as high as in the violent flood episodes. (fortunately not on a river flat)” the bank collapses along the Lower River Murray and the massive cracks in the adjoining land were caused by the extensive lower pool level ie, hydrology!
    In your reply to Sean you say, “Because I cannot regard his commentary as reliable, could you please elaborate on this? There are several considerations that immediately occur to me as to why the banks might collapse” that’s fine
    I can assure you that you DO NOT UNDERSTAND the Lower River Murray
    • Undercutting by a lowered river flow, despite that the rate of flow was reduced, ABSOLUTY NOT.
    • Gravitational effects, NO LOSS OF HYDROGICAL PRESSURE!
    • Unusual soil shrinkage/cracking, YES – CAUSED BY THE MUCH LOWERED POOL LEVEL!
    • Violent rainstorms. (as witnessed by me at the Plenty River, whilst river levels were above average)
    Do you think that it is a bit odd that in late 2008, Flannery, water ministers and advisors were concerned about protecting the lakes from salinity effects without mention of river bank collapse?
    Your Plenty River is a minnow in comparison and during the time of the bank collapsing and the cracking in land next to the river we weren’t getting any rain.
    If you think the comment, “effects without mention of river bank collapse” get off your butt and come and visit I will be happy to rake you to places where the damage is still clearly visible.

  78. Debbie July 12, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Peter,
    no one is claiming that there was no damage.
    Bob points out correctly that similar damage occurs/has ocurred elsewhere.
    The Murray is sometimes a minnow too.
    The damage and hardships in the drought were not unique to SA.
    Stuff happened elsewhere that had never happened before.
    It has since too.

  79. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 12, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Hi Debbie,
    If you had read Bob’s thread then my answer it was not about, “no one is claiming that there was no damage” I was pointing the damage near where he lives is a minnow in comparison to the Lower River Murray where in many places the Murray is 500+ metres wide.
    We know that, “The damage and hardships in the drought were not unique to SA” but without ACCTUALLY viewing the damage it is hard to understand what occurred!
    Also you DID NOT see the extent of our damage anywhere else in the Basin!

  80. Debbie July 12, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    No one has said the damage wasn’t extensive either Peter,
    Similar means…it’s comparable but not necessarily the same.
    What is the same is the ‘principles’ behind why these things happen.
    Just because you haven’t been told that people (including me) haven’t sen the damage there (and elsewhere) doesn’t mean we haven’t seen it Peter.
    It’s not pretty I know.
    But it is not unique either.
    To make such a broad brush statement like this:
    ‘Also you DID NOT see the extent of our damage anywhere else in the Basin!’
    indicates that maybe you may be the one who doesn’t understand.
    While some types of damage from the drought may be more prevalent in SA….there are other forms of irreperable damage that are more extensive elsewhere….equally concerning and in some cases arguably more concerning.
    Fixing up your problems exclusively while ignoring or writing off the other areas of concern under the nefarious banner of ‘the greater good’ is not going to solve anything Peter.
    SA, despite your govts screeching otherwise ,is just as culpable for the lack of sensible upgrades in the regulatory infrastructure and just as culpable for refusing to recognise that some mistakes have been made and they need to be fixed.
    Just ‘add more water’ into the river is not a solution….not even for SA.

  81. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    Re, “Just because you haven’t been told that people (including me) haven’t seen the damage there (and elsewhere) doesn’t mean we haven’t seen it Peter” you contradict yourself.
    Re, “But it is not unique either” the collapsing River banks and huge cracks in bitumen roads and massive cracks in irrigated land adjoining the River were unique along the Lower River Murray. As I said some time ago when I took nearly 100 large laminated photos to a conference in Victoria all who viewed them said they never knew it was that bad, sorry Debbie YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!
    Re, “Fixing up your problems exclusively while ignoring or writing off the other areas of concern under the nefarious banner of ‘the greater Good’ is not going to solve anything Peter” we are not ignoring any other areas ALL problems MUST be investigated and where possible repaired.
    And, “SA, despite your Govts screeching otherwise, is just as culpable for the lack of sensible upgrades in the regulatory infrastructure and just as culpable for refusing to recognise that some mistakes have been made and they need to be fixed” this BS so when are you going to stop just SA bashing?
    And WE all know, “Just ‘add more water’ into the river is not a solution….not even for SA.”

  82. Sean July 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Hi Bob F_J,
    Google “Murray River river bank collapse”.
    You can then pick and choose what you want to read.
    In this case Peter is right the Government made sure the Goolwa Channel was okay with the Clayton Regulator which allowed boating from the regulator through the Goolwa barrage lock into the Coorong from the long weekend in October, 2009 through to Easter, 2010. Lake Alexandrina reached sea level 0.00 M on the 4th. August, 2010. The weekly river flow into S.A. Oct. 2009 to Dec. 2010 was an average of around 30.GL/ week and increased to an average of around 50.0GL/week from Jan.2010 to April,2012. the Clayton regulator was partially opened Sept. 2010 when the weekly river flow reached 186.3 GL/week. We must remember that Goolwa was still -0.024 M AHD end of April, 2010, Lake Alexandrina was still below sea level and once the Clayton regulator was opened the old original pool returned from Goolwa Barrage back to d/s Lock 1. I haven’t kept figures on d/s Lock 1 but I am sure it also was below sea level. You can now see why Peter Smith supports Lock Zero and with a new lock.

  83. Debbie July 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Peter?
    so when are you going to stop just SA bashing?
    I have 2 answers to that:
    Firstly I am not exclusively bashing SA….similar issues are prevalant in other states as I continually point out.
    However….if I was just SA bashing….I might stop when your Premier stops his incessant screeching and whining that all SA’s water woes were caused by ‘upstream irrigation’ and ‘the greedy eastern states’.

    “you took too much water and you have to give it back!”

    That is mostly rubbish:
    This statement from a good friend (highly conversant on water policy and very well connected) is closer to reality.
    Nor is it correct to argue that S.A. or Adelaide in particular are short of water. While the three State agreement that was put in place in 1915 to protect S.A. interests has been amended several times, it has always been to the advantage of that State and the present allocation of 1,850,000 megalitres of water per year (except in exceptional circumstances) makes a mockery of this claim.

    I will also add Peter that the 1,850,000 megalitres has a higher priority than the water that Weatherill thinks we hid somewhere in the drought.
    It gets allocated BEFORE many others get allocated 1 single measely megalitre.
    Upstream irrigation allocations were actually placed in NEGATIVE ALLOCATION in order for SA to get its proportionate share in those exceptional circumstances….Please don’t tell me I don’t understand….I was one of those irrigators.
    BTW…we still had to pay for that water…even though we never received it.
    Is Weatherill planning on paying me back? SA definitely got given our conveyance licences.
    So excuse me if I appear just a tad annoyed with your State Govt and particularly your Premier.
    He is telling disgraceful porkies.

  84. Bob_FJ July 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Thanks Sean,
    It seems to me that a new “lock zero” would be an excellent solution for the bottom reaches of the river. Not only that but once installed it would seem to me to be more generally acceptable to restore the lakes to estuarine conditions even if only in part by replacing the Mundoo barrage by a raised open roadway. It seems to me that something has to be done about the worsening sand shoaling and Bird Island.

  85. Bob_FJ July 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Debbie,

    So excuse me if I appear just a tad annoyed with your State Govt and particularly your Premier.
    He is telling disgraceful porkies.

    It seems that it is not only the SA premier telling porkies and he is perhaps assisted in it by those who should professionally know better. Jennifer has recounted how certain scientists seem to be genuflecting to the political (funding) situation. Her latest article on certain “Great Barrier Reef scientists” is another demo on this malady in science. As an engineer it makes me very angry. Our universities are a joke at least in some fields

  86. Debbie July 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Yep,
    Well said Bob FJ.
    SA definitely needs something like that Lock zero…PLUS….a sensible adaptive management plan that looks at using all available water resources and recognises some developing problems caused by the tides/winds/ocean and those hopelessly inefficient barrages….which at the very least, need to be seriously re eingineered.
    All MDB State govts (did you read that bit Peter? I said ALL of them!) need to think about their failure to upgrade in concert with changing demands and changing conditions. AND STOP BLAMING EACH OTHER!!!!
    And seriously…we soooooo need to throw that stupid ‘precautionary principle’ out the window.
    It has been taken to the point of absurdity.
    It would be like me saying I couldn’t possibly wash the dishes because statistical information indicates that there is a likelihood I MIGHT break a glass or a plate or something!
    Or maybe….I couldn’t possibly drive to town and buy my family’s weekly groceries….because statistical information indicates that there is a likelihood my car MIGHT get a scratch in the supermarket car park!!!!
    We can’t do anything progresive according to that “precautionary principle” because there is a statistical likelihood that something MIGHT happen.
    SHEEEEESHHH!

  87. Sean July 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Hi Bob_FJ,

    “It seems to me that a new “lock zero” would be an excellent solution for the bottom reaches of the river. Not only that but once installed it would seem to me to be more generally acceptable to restore the lakes to estuarine conditions.

    Do you have any idea of a rough estimate the costing of a new Lock Zero below Tailem Bend?

    Looking at the geological map of the area it seems that the area around Tailem Bend would be a potential site for Lock Zero as there are outcrops of basement rocks and granite in the area.
    Building Lock Zero below Tailem Bend this creates a new pool of 0.75 M between Lock Zero andD/S Lock 1 and protects Adelaide’s water supplies and the Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge, Mannum and Swan Reach pumping stations. It will eliminate the damage the Lower River Murray suffered during the drought.

    Coorong Mullet and I are working on some figures at the moment in regards to sea water into the Lower Lakes.

  88. Sean July 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Debbie,
    Maybe the Eastern States should suggest that the S.A. Government should think about storing their excess water closer to Adelaide instead of in Hume and Dartmouth then transporting it all the way to S.A.. Maybe they should seriously think of building that storage here in S.A. as suggested by my friend Peter Marsh during the drought period 2008 and 2009.

    “The Burra Lakes”

    Allocating 1,200 GL a year to evaporate from the Southern Lakes is an absurd waste of fresh water when salt water would be just as effective at keeping the Murray Mouth open. I also think some of the water allocated for evaporation could be stored elsewhere in S.A. to deliver a large scale reliable water supply, something we haven’t had for many years ( an expansion in water storage capacity I mean).
    The Burra lakes ( Apoinga lagoon, Porter lagoon ) south of Burra together can hold around 3,000 GL of water in deep bodies of water. Apoinga lagoon has a surface area of around 50 sq.km and an average depth of around 30 metres. This means that it contains 1,500 GL ( about the same volume as the Southern Lakes ). Evaporation from the South Lakes is around 1.3 metres per annum and given their surface area is 860 sq. km gives the 1,300 GL evaporation Tim Flannery mentioned.
    By contrast, Apoinga lagoon with its much smaller surface area would result in only 50 x 1.3 = 65 GL year. This is a tiny amount of water lost to evaporation. It also means that if the lake was filled to capacity in a wet year ( like the current year ) it could be held in reserve for about ten years an by itself could supply Adelaide with the 100 GL that it draws from the Murray several times over.
    The only obstacle is the need to build a dam and provide pumping from Morgan up to Apoinga Lagoon. Guess what – the Morgan/Whyalla pipeline runs about 5 km to its north! If we can use the abundant wind resources in the area to drive the pumping for near zero running cost, then the water moved the 50 km from the Murray will not be so valuable that it is too expensive to use again. After all, the pumps already in use from the Murray to Adelaide’s catchment reservoirs seem to do the job economically.
    Better still, from the Burra Lakes, water can flow in three directions :
    1. Easterly back to the River Murray by existing small creek and channels
    2. South-Westerly towards Gawler and thence to our northern suburbs
    3. North- Westlery into the Broughton River through Crystal Brook and south of Port Pirie.
    And so there are multiple useful options for handling the situation when there is too much water in the system.

  89. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 13, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Hi Sean,
    Thanks Sean.
    Re, “The Burra Lakes” maybe it’s time to call for a feasibility study into the proposal and another suggestion put forward is some turkey dams closer to the River though it is not my subject.

    Hi Debbie,
    SA has paid back the water owed to Vic and NSW!
    The 1,850-Gigalitres is I believe 7% of the Basin’s inflow!
    Re, “It gets allocated BEFORE many others get allocated 1 single measly megalitre” as per the agreement signed by SA and the Eastern States!

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    The group for which I am spokesperson believes Lock Zero is a necessity but are still opposed to, “restore the lakes to estuarine conditions.”
    If you visit my web site http://www.psmithersmyriver.com/ and hit the link Lock Zero you will find (though a little behind) the proposal which is to be upgraded.
    Re, “It seems that it is not only the SA premier telling porkies and he is perhaps assisted in it by those who should professionally know better” is I believe 100% correct.
    Re the cost of Lock Zero estimates put it at approximately 600 million dollars.

    Hi Debbie,
    If you have looked at the Lock Zero proposal you would have see it calls not only for a feasibility study but also management plan legislated for Lock Zero and Lakes Albert, Alexandrina, The Coorong and the Barrages.
    Yes Debbie it is all Governments!

  90. Debbie July 13, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Peter,
    SA …DID NOT… pay back the water to the people who were put in negative allocation in those exceptional circumstances.
    They only ‘accounted’ for it.
    The same happened to SA irrigators.
    Do you understand the difference?
    The people who paid very dearly in order for SA to receive their ‘share’ of available ‘critical supplies’ allocation were not compensated….and they won’t be.
    Your lack of understanding about conveyance and distance from available storages leads you to believe (like your Premier) that water can be created out of thin air….or even more absurdly….that when exceptional circumstances like the recent drought occured….SA can magically flush or pulse water that can be created out of thin air (or maybe the water that your Premier thinks we hid somewhere?)
    Also…what does 7% have to do with it?
    You seem to be incorrectly assuming that figure is related to secure storage access.
    Of the entire basin inflow only approx 3% is in secure community storages!
    The highest figure I have seen is the MDBA’s modelled figure of 4%.
    You are also incorrectly assuming that the entire runoff in the basin ends up in the Murray River.
    The fact sheets that can be downloaded from the MDBA site indicate 2 things:
    1) That figure is infinitely variable and
    2) Using long term averages, that figure is 4.7%
    Of course statistical long term averages are not a good basis to work from when attempting to understand the MDB system.
    The total Basin inflow is NOT the water that SA is arguing about….they have recently discovered it’s not always available.

  91. Peter R. Smith OAM MANNUM July 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    About the paid back water if you are correct then ask your Government where your water is?
    Re, “Also, what does 7% have to do with it” it just seems Sa is the poor cousin in the deal?
    I do agree, “Of course statistical long term averages are not a good basis to work from when attempting to understand the MDB system” “averages are not a good basis to work from!”
    We all know that water is not always available so must look at efficiencies in all dealings within the Basin as we should be looking at aquifer storage.

  92. Debbie July 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Peter,
    that’s the problem with quoting meaningless 7% comments ( or any other % figs)
    SA has not been treated unfairly.
    There is no point asking for water back.
    You must have selective hearing?
    Your state govt is insisting that the other states stole theirs.
    Any ‘pay back’ is purely a paper/ computer modelled transaction.
    SA did not actually give real water or real money back, similarly the Eastern states did NOT take any of SAs allocated share.
    That was never the problem.
    SA is not anyone’s poor cousin.

  93. Bob_FJ July 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Sean @ 6:24 pm & 6:55 pm
    Hi Sean,
    Snatching cost estimates for what seems to be a tricky project in lock zero is not easy, but based on my vast engineering experience in unrelated fields, I would estimate it at less than one tenth of the ten billion dollari floating around for the MDBA stuff. I wouldn’t hesitate…..go for it!

    On your local reservoir proposals to Debbie….. sounds very interesting but how much rain do you get down there? Depending on future overflows from upriver is speculative maybe? The La Nina seems to have gone neutral despite continued dampness and cold?

  94. Debbie July 14, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Sean’s proposal is entirely sensible and it would help to mitigate the real problem that has developed at the bottom of the system.
    The whole point of building storages is because rain is so unpredictable.
    Imagine if the storage Sean has outlined and others that have been costed were already built?
    Would they be full or empty at this point?
    If our climate was predictable, we would not have needed to build water storage facilities in the first place.
    SA needs access to more reliable storage if SA wants to continue to develop.
    Instead we have the SA politicians and media along with groups like ACF claiming that their water woes are everyone else’s fault. They’re also loudly arguing that the drought was an environmental disaster caused by upstream. Weatherill is claiming that their water was hidden or stolen somehow and that it has to be given back. And we also have them using meaningless % figs as Peter has done, to claim that SA is being treated like a poor cousin.
    They claim loudly that they love the Murray River yet they want to treat it like an irrigation channel and force it to deliver water ‘out of season’.
    They seem incapable of admitting that their own SE drainage works have created problems for the Coorong or that the barrages were built to prevent the natural influences that their proximity to the ocean create.
    Instead (IMHO) they really should start listening to people like Sean and stop pretending they are victims.
    That way, some sensible engineering and technical solutions could be contemplated for the benefit of all, incuding ghe environment.
    Once again Bob FJ, good for you for pointing out to the ABC that they are basically clueless and attempted to run a smear campaign rather than doing their job properly.
    Jen has been entirely consistent on this issue. Those barrages have not delivered and it is most definitely bi polar to argue that problems at the mouth are upstream’s fault and that it’s’natural’ to fill the lakes with water stored in upstream storages 1000s of miles away. Especially in times of low inflows.
    That argument completely denies the natural environment and does not exhibit respect for the ‘real’ Murray.

  95. Bob_FJ July 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Sean and Debbie,
    I hope I did not come across as too negative about your proposed new water storages, which sound good to me, it’s just that I suspect that it would be a political/environmental minefield.

  96. Sean July 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Bob_FJ,
    The Burra lakes as I mentioned is Peter Marsh’s idea. He and I met at a meeting here S.A. in late 2008 re the Murray and at the end of 2010 for family reasons he had to cease his interest in the river. I promised him that I would try to achieve the work that we had both into it over this period.

    The Burra Lakes
    Allocating 1,200 GL a year to evaporate from the Southern Lakes is an absurd waste of fresh water when salt water would be just as effective at keeping the Murray Mouth open. I also think some of the water allocated for evaporation could be stored elsewhere in S.A.
    Tim Flannery was quoted in The Australian article in July, 2008 that the evaporation rate for the Lower Lakes was 1,300 GL/ annum.
    By contrast, Apoinga lagoon with its much smaller surface area and using the same formula as Tim Flannery would result in only 50 x 1.3 = 65 GL year. This is a tiny amount of water lost to evaporation. It also means that if the lake was filled to capacity in WET YEARS ( like the last two years ) it could be held in reserve for about ten years an by itself could supply Adelaide with the 100 GL that it draws from the Murray several times over.
    The Morgan/Whyalla pipeline runs about 5 km to its north! If we can use the abundant wind resources in the area to drive the pumping for near zero running cost, then the water moved the 50 km from the Murray will not be so valuable that it is too expensive to use again. After all, the pumps already in use from the Murray to Adelaide’s catchment reservoirs seem to do the job economically.
    The Burra Lakes, water can flow in three directions :
    1. Easterly back to the River Murray by existing small creek and channels
    2. South-Westerly towards Gawler and thence to our northern suburbs
    3. North- Westlery into the Broughton River through Crystal Brook and south of Port Pirie.
    These options are similar to the current methods used where Mount Bold and Myponga Reservoirs are able top up Happy Valley. The new 100 GL Port Stanvac Desalination Plant will use Happy Valley for its storage plus will be connecting to the current pipeline system.
    And so there are multiple useful options for handling the situation when there is too much water in the system.

  97. Bob_FJ July 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Sean,
    Thanks for that. It all sounds excellent but how to marshal the conflicting Federal and State interests? Any estimated investment costs?

  98. Sean July 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Bob_FJ,
    Any estimated costs
    Unfortunately that is beyond my knowledge.

    After having a bit of a chit chat with Coorong Mullet to work out how much flow is required to keep the Lakes reasonably fresh during drought periods. It is based on flow/evap values only and does not take into account the hydrodynamics of keeping the Mouth open and how much water that would need. Figures have rounded up or down various values to make calcs quicker, but the resulting table does give an idea of what is needed.

    Up to 20,000 hectares of acid sulfate soils were exposed in the Lower Lakes � this is the same acid that’s in car batteries.

    Answer :
    The acid sulphate soils of the Lower Lakes could have been avoided by the barrage gates being opened and allowing sea water in and would have prevented the Lakes levels dropping below sea level, – 1.00 M AHD. The gates during a drought and those intermediate dry years then only allow enough fresh water to be used to prevent hyper-salinity not water level. i.e. operation changed from maintaining levels to maintaining salinity below a set level.
    As a starting point the end of drought year 1 actual conditions of the past drought viz lake at sea level with a volume of 1000GL and EC 4000. The table shows the EC of Lake water at the end of Y2, Y3 etc with variuos scenarios. Have also used 1000GL/y evaporation.

    1000GL/y seawater 500sea/500fresh 1000 fresh 1500 fresh
    End of Year 1 4000 4000 4000 4000
    Year 2 54,000 29,250 4500 2750
    Year 3 104,000 54,500 5000 2125
    Year4 154,000 79,750 5500 1850
    Etc
    And that analysis did not take into account fresh water from rain or local runoff.
    The conclusions are clear irrespective of the flaws in this sort of analysis. If there was absolutely no river flow then the lakes would become hypersaline.
    But it only requires 1500GL/y (say 5GL/d) to keep the lakes fresh although this amount may not keep the mouth open.
    This sort of figure to keep the lakes fresh seems to explain the fact that lake salinity has been fairly constant over time up to the drought even though extraction rates have been increasing.
    And of course during a drought period the 2 million tonnes of salt is ridiculous and is more likely to be less than 100,000 tonnes to zero depending on the flow.

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