June 1, 2006

Drought turns Aussie knight historical searching for solutions.

You have to give it to Ian Kiernan. The man is a one man crusade, having started the unbelievably successful Clean up Australia Day 16 years ago he is not about to rest on his knighthood. He is now turning his attention to the formidable problem of solving Sydney's water problem, which he attacks in typically pragmatic style: :::[SMH]
Mr Kiernan said Sydney had to abandon its reliance on big engineering fixes to solve its water shortage and instead focus on innovative schemes that made the most of the water the city already had.

"We are capturing water that would otherwise be wasted as it flows to the ocean outfalls," he said. "We just have to keep turning over rocks and finding new opportunities to save water."
There is not one solution, but hundreds, and some of these have been worked out before:

SYDNEY could soon be tapping into a world of sandstone tunnels, disused industrial tanks and long-forgotten water courses, in an ambitious effort to take pressure off the city's dwindling water supplies.

The NSW Government yesterday provided $430,000 for the first stage of a Clean Up Australia project to restore the historic Busby's Bore as a source of recycled water for Hyde Park and Cook and Phillip Park.

The bore, hewn out of sandstone by convict labourers in the 1830s to pipe water to Sydney, runs 3.6 kilometres from Centennial Park to Hyde Park. The city eventually outgrew the bore, but water still runs through it.

In the more ambitious and costly second stage of the project, an underground lake formed in the dead end of a 1920s derelict train tunnel near the State Library could be used to capture and store run-off, stormwater and seepage to irrigate the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain.

The initial relief this puts on reducing demand to Sydney's water supply amounts to 110,000 litres a day, or 40 Olympic sized pools a year. There plenty of other opportunities to investigate as well. Well done Ian Kiernan.

It is also worth noting that Clean Up Australia has been extending it's horizons to Clean Up the World for 13 years now, with 'Clean Up' days organised in 100 countries and mobilising 35 million volunteers annually so far. The idea proved so viral in Australia I was sure it will easily pass borders, the extent of the success is breathtaking. It is one of the largest community-based environmental campaigns in the world, so if it comes to your town, be sure to roll up your sleeves and join in for a day.

More from their website. :::[Clean Up Australia website]


Fifty six prominent Australians sign a letter objecting to the Snowy Mountains Hydro Ltd sale, amongst them my favourite actor, Cate Blanchette. It is just madness that a government can sell us what we already own. :::[Who signed?]

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