The Original Concept, pre Mr Burke's MDB Plan
in the northern and eastern regions of Australia can be excessive, and all of it flows through a series of short, fast flowing
rivers to the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Carpentaria. The rivers are mostly on the eastern side of the
Great Dividing Range, running from Southern Victoria to Northern Queensland. The mountains are mostly steep
on the eastern aspect and gently sloping on the western aspect, the result of tilted beds.
geological factor provides a huge opportunity to redress the great imbalance we have created with water flows in the west
flowing rivers of the Murray Darling systems.
Once the excess water is delivered to the western side of the mountain range,
the natural flow tendencies can be harnessed to take the water from those points to the river systems where their flushing
and flooding action is desperately needed.
In the 1950’s, the Snowy Mountain Scheme did a similar thing with the
Snowy River and the hydro electricity scheme. The technology we have to work with is now 6 decades more
advanced than the best we had in those days, and the task we would ask of it, diverting those certain rivers across the Great
Dividing Range, would be a much simpler feat than the Snowy Scheme was.
Should we do it?
The question of ecological balance is debated strongly.
What we learned
from the Snowy River is that totally diverting a river and causing it to literally dry up is wrong. However,
the rivers in question flood enormously in the wet seasons, and the resultant floods layer huge amounts of smothering silt
on delicate coral reefs, while on the other side of the range, rivers are dying for lack of water flows.
has to be a balance in there, where enough water is available to satisfy both needs, and solve the problems that now exist.
With the technology we now have, the opportunity to be much more efficient and effective with our use and utilisation
of water need not create the problems and legacies our waste of water in the past has done.
There is a significant
reason to consider the diversions on a power/cost basis also, as a considerable amount of almost totally free electrical energy
and other forces is available to power this piped water transfer across or through the mountain range.
water is taken from flowing rivers, where an underwater turbine or bank of underwater turbines generating electricity could
drive electric pumps to supplement any power required to pump the water across the range. However, it doesn’t
Once the water is over the range, managed carefully, it can be set up to siphon through the piping,
down the other side. This siphon effect, supplemented with the initial pumping, may in some situations,
almost eliminate external power requirements to transfer water across the range.
A quote from Geologist Mr
John Nethery follows, on this topic, concerning waters from the rivers flowing into the Gulf Of Carpentaria. More information
on Mr Nethery can be found on the Agmates Sites, especially in the Climate Sceptics community, to which he is a regular contributor.
"I've considered this issue for many years and concluded that the original Bradfield concept was a bit difficult
in practical terms, for example, requiring tunnels longer than those in the Snowy Mountains Scheme. However I believe there
are several practical modest adaptations of Bradfield's idea, with the main problems being the volume and rate of water
to be moved, and evaporation rates on the way.
Stage 1 would be a dam in the top end of the Flinders River catchment
just north of the White Mountains, which would accumulate water from an area of about 2000 square kilometres, draining the
Sturgeon Basalt and Nulla Basalt fields, which are well known excellent aquifers that top up in the Wet Season, and discharge
throughout the year. This to be supplemented by a weir across the Flinders near "Glendower" Station, and a 10 kilometre
diversion channel into Prairie Creek, which flows into the Thomson River.
Stage 2 would involve the existing Burdekin
Dam reservoir with a pumping station near the drowned "Cranbrooke Park" and a major pipeline for 10 kilometres for
an elevation of 150 metres to a reservoir on the The Tableland nearby. This reservoir would gravity feed, via 200 kilometres
of pipeline to Lake Galilee at 50 metres lower elevation. Lake Galilee then overflows and drains into the Thomson via the
Cornish Creek system.
Having gone to that trouble the problem then diverts to the lower Thomson near Windorah where
a weir and system of pipelines and channels could divert water 400 kilometres across to the Paroo River and thence into the
This is "babysteps" stuff in the overall scheme of things, but huge when considering
that the Queensland Government recently invested in a desalination plant to solve a water supply problem that didn't exist
on the Gold Coast, when other works already underway have prevented the (potential) problem ever occurring again!
We need to consider water supply problems not in terms of periods in which government members and politicians apply
for re-election, but in terms of thinking decades ahead, to what the country needs and what the population and the rural
situation needs will be as much as 2 decades, and maybe more, into the future! Short term thinking as most politicians
are prone to does not fit well with geological passage of time.