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A better alternative than Traveston Crossing dam
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A better alternative than Traveston Crossing dam


Presentation regarding options to reduce water consumption in South East Queensland. Presented at the AWA Qld Regional Conference in Nov 2007.

Presentation regarding options to reduce water consumption in South East Queensland. Presented at the AWA Qld Regional Conference in Nov 2007.

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  • Latest figures in EIS suggest that there are 213 GL/a worth of infrastructure planned (exlcuding expansion of Tugun - 15 GL)


  • 1. How much further can demand management strategies go to ensure future water security for SEQ? Tanzi Smith, Darren Edward*, Alex Kazaglis and Andrea Turner *independent contributor THINK. CHANGE. DO INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURES
  • 2. Outline of Presentation Four main points will be addressed:
    • A snapshot of current and future water needs in SEQ
    • Qld Government’s strategy for balancing supply and demand
    • Demand Management (DM) in this strategy
    • Potential further contribution of DM in urban and power sectors
    Conclusion: DM has a lot further to go Mary River Estuary Photo: Stewart Riddell
  • 3. A snapshot SEQ’s current and future water needs 440 GL/a 630 GL/a 450 GL/a used by SEQ prior to drought 2004 2007 2050 Source: Queensland Government 2007 (based on high saving scenario, medium population growth) GAP = 540 GL/a 440 GL/a Yield derated by 30% Population: 2.8 million Demand in 2050: 980 GL/a (including 30GL for climate change, 20GL for rural irrigation) Population: 5.1 million
  • 4. Queensland Government’s proposed strategy A diverse portfolio with controversial elements ~186 GL/a ~24 GL/a Existing Government savings program (industrial recycling, efficiencies etc) Western corridor recycling Additional minor surface and groundwater sources Expanded Tugun Desalination plant 84 GL/a 62 GL/a 50 GL/a GAP = 134 GL/a Leakage reduction The WATER GRID + Additional demand of 540GL/a Traveston Crossing 150 GL/a Wyaralong Dam 18GL/a Qld Govt plans two new dams to fill this gap:
  • 5. What role does DM already play in current strategy?
    • DM: describes the methods used to modify the level and/or timing of demand for a particular resource (WSAA, 2003)
    Adapted from Turner et al, 2007 Qld Government’s existing DM program Predicted saving ~210 GL/a (MWH & Marsden Jacobs, 2007)
  • 6. Is there a role for further DM in SEQ’s water future? Qld Government says “No”
    • EIS for Traveston Crossing Dam suggested the ONLY alternatives to this dam are desalination, two different combinations of dams and transfer from the Northern Rivers of NSW
    • Further demand management has been ignored on the basis that it is:
      • “ high risk” and,
      • projections of savings are “overly optimistic”
    Is the Qld Government’s position on DM justified? Anna Bligh at Public Meeting in Gympie Photo: Arkin Mackay
  • 7. Alternatives to new dams: expanded DM in urban and power sectors
    • Average unit cost: $1.15/kL
    • Negative Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    URBAN SECTOR A 2007 review of SEQ water management found expanding DM could further increase water security (Turner al, 2007) ADDITIONAL SAVINGS 190GL/a
  • 8. Alternatives to new dams: expanded DM in the power sector
    • In SEQ, electricity generation accounts for over 6% of total water consumption
    • The majority of this water is lost as water vapour, evaporated in the cooling towers
    • However, there is an alternative to evaporative cooling - “Dry Cooling” or “Air Cooling”
      • Similar concept to car radiator
      • ~95% reduction in water use
    Source: Qld Govt Dept. of Energy
  • 9.
    • Dry Cooling is already being used Milmerran and Kogan Creek power stations
    • In 2004, the SEQ Regional Water Supply Strategy stage 1 report stated:
      • Existing SEQ power stations could be converted to dry cooling
      • Capital cost for Swanbank and Tarong of ~ $500M per plant.
    • Savings ~40 GL/a
    • Unit cost of approximately $1.08 /kL
    Alternatives to new dams: DM in the power sector Source: Shenoi et. al. General Atomics
  • 10. Alternatives to new dams: Which is the better option to meet the 134GL/a gap? But the Qld Government’s remains reluctant to expand DM Further Urban sector DM Dry Cooling DM Option: New Water: 230 GL/a Unit Cost : $1.08-1.15/kL Social and Environmental Impact : Low/positive Traveston Crossing & Wyaralong Dams Two new Dams Option: New Water: 168 GL/a Unit Cost : $3.4-4.65/kL Social and Environmental Impact : High
  • 11. Alternatives to new dams: Why such reluctance on more DM?
    • Possible reasons:
    • Institutional structures/support
    • Design of DM program to maximise savings
    • Concern about behavioural element of DM
    Great Sandy Strait Photo: Stewart Riddell reliance on ongoing savings presents “ ..a significant level of risk” to future water security because they rely on “voluntary participation or ongoing behavioural change.” (Qld Government, 2007, p64)
  • 12. How does the public feel about DM? most research has been done on restrictions..
    • The Traveston Crossing EIS and research by Qld Water Commission, CRC for Water Quality and Treatment reveals:
      • 83% of SEQ residents surveyed said people should be required to save water, even when there is no current shortage (TCD EIS Appendix F11.2 2007 pg 62)
      • 50% of participants in QWC Stakeholder workshops felt that restrictions 10 out of 10 years were reasonable (QWC and SEQCOM, 2006)
    • DM reduces demand for water without reduction in the quality of service  easier to accept than restrictions
    Qld Govt’s reluctance to consider further DM is not justified Mary River Valley Photo: Unknown
  • 13. How much further can DM go in SEQ? At least 230 GL/a!
    • Requires political will
    • Requires strategies to support the public, industry and all levels of government
    • This is an opportunity for the water industry to encourage Government’s to undertake a paradigm shift to more sustainable water management
    Under a sustainable paradigm: Traveston Crossing Dam and Wyaralong Dam are not the best options for SEQs water security Mary River at Traveston Crossing Photo: Anne Stephens
  • 14. Thank you very much!
    • Major References:
      • Queensland Government 2007, The State of Queensland Submission - Inquiry into Additional Water Supplies for South East Queensland - Traveston Crossing Dam , viewed 4 April 2007 < >
      • Turner, A., Hausler, G., Carrard, N., Kazaglis, A., White, S., Hughes, A. & Johnson, T. 2007, Review of Water Supply-Demand Options for South East Queensland , Institute for Sustainable Futures, Cardno, Sydney and Brisbane viewed 15 September 2007 < >.