Harvest water wisely
WE HAVE a heap of experts coming to Townsville on July 20 to discuss what we North Australians want as displayed in the Government white paper.
As a North Queenslander for over 80 years, I know we have abundant water in the North but must harvest it wisely and use it for irrigation and in our homes, but also to generate hydro power.
This means we must place suitable- sized dams either in the rivers, creeks etc or use pondage dams where possible beside the main streams.
In Townsville, as our population increases, we cannot rely solely on the Ross River to fill the Ross Dam every year, but we can use it as a giant storage area providing we feed it from creeks and rivers from our neighbourhood such as the Burdekin, Keelbottom, Star, Douglas and Running River.
Even though the Burdekin has many valuable tributaries, they can be harnessed for water and electricity.
The first priority would be a high dam at Hells Gate on the upper Burdekin.
This dam would also support irrigation and hydro power with supply westwards, as well as possible piped water across a 350m contour over Hervey Range plateau through a hydro station at the base of the mountain and the water piped into Ross Dam.
As an alternative, a suitable-sized pipeline should be considered running through a hydro power station from the present Burdekin Dam straight to Ross Dam. The existing alternative for emergency use uses a pump at Clare through a channel to a pondage area near the Haughton River and again pumped to the Ross Dam. This system will not cope in the future.
Unfortunately there will be people who will argue against these ideas but unless we develop the North it will, in due course, be taken from us by people from other countries, so I trust the governments will be fair dinkum and get on with the development of water in North Australia. GARTH HARRIGAN, Aitkenvale.
KEEPING PACE: More dams for irrigation and power generation are needed in the North.