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Aussies Living Simply

To Dam or not to Dam?

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #257606
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Hi ALSers, I hope you are all well. Fundamentally I am against dams for a number of reasons. However, in light of the disasterous floods in QLD & NSW recently I think with an increasing population & urbanisation the need to retain water as flood protection, energy source, food source, drinking source and other things like avoiding run off into the sea needs to be discussed. Dams wont counter all of natures fury but properly planned they will help in a number of ways. What do you think?

    #531068
    AndreAndre
    Keymaster

    G’day porgey :wave:

    I hope you are well too?

    May I ask, why you are against dams?

    I can understand, from a possible permaculture perspective that water is best kept IN the soil – by use of swales etc, but would a well-designed dam be the next best thing?

    When I get to build on my property, I intend to do both – swales and dams. (if that means more water is ‘used up’ in the swales, to the detriment of the dams, so be it). I still need to look into it – perhaps pond lining etc .. but my intention was to have relatively narrow but deep North-South strips for dams, with raised embankments East-West and plants all to prevent wind/evaporation and add shade. The cooler the air, the less vapour loss. (I also realise the deeper sides will probably need some reinforcing)

    I dare say though, the leaf-matter may be a concern. I guess it depends on what the dam is going to be used for …

    :whistle:

    #531069
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    I suspect that there is a huge diference between a well designed dam on your property designed to catch and retain runoff and an engineering marvel that blocks a river, floods a valley and “turns northern Australia into a food bowl” like the Ord River scheme was supposed to. And didn’t…

    A small matter of scale. And sensibleness (is that a word? 4 beers says it is).

    Cheers

    Dave

    #531070
    SnagsSnags
    Member

    porgey post=353700 wrote: to retain water as flood protection, energy source, food source, drinking source and other things like avoiding run off into the sea needs to be discussed. Dams wont counter all of natures fury but properly planned they will help in a number of ways. What do you think?

    Interesting response from Tony Burke Enviro Minister

    ”They say that they want to use them to avoid drought, they want to use them to avoid flood and they want to use them for hydro power. Now, if you want to avoid drought, you need to manage a dam that is always full.

    ”If you want to avoid floods, you need to manage a dam that is constantly empty . . . if you want to manage it for hydro it has to be constantly flowing.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/abbotts-dam-plan-completely-wild-20130214-2ee3u.html#ixzz2L9aWHkgw

    Im very concerned about opening up more areas to agriculture to feed the growing middle class of Asia, that’s code for more food billions more people on the planet lets feed our way out of the population problem and create an even bigger problem down the road.

    More of the BAU crowd dreaming of exponential growth.

    Im all for the death of globalisation and localising food production.

    #531071
    BullseyeBullseye
    Member

    Airgead post=353705 wrote:

    A small matter of scale. And sensibleness (is that a word? 4 beers says it is).

    LOL

    Would it be reasonable to equate Senselessness to a case? :laugh:

    #531072
    XioXio
    Member

    Considering that the chinese are buying up prime agricultural land in Australia at a fast rate & that at some stage produce will be exported to feed the chinese, I wonder who would be paying for the dams?

    #531073
    Anonymous
    Guest

    XIO, they are buying the dams, we have already paid for, and teh use of them now will by and large be out of our gov’s control, so the murray/darling might in future get even less run off from qld.

    but anyway i may have missed it but what approvals do you need for a dam, and damming flood gullies/creeks and rivulets is probably not on as the gov’ owns all catchments, that includes slopes where water can run off.

    if you ahve enough land i’d be thinking around 10 actres and if your soil is suitable to hold wate then a dam for extra water and habitat might be the go, any dam that is going to be any use for water use/storage would probably need to be 1 meg’ capacity. we had a 1/4 meg dam that was a water table dam so it would never empty, fall in level yes but not that much. wouldn’t like to have put it to the test and do some light irrigating.

    anyhow the gov’ needs to approve it as they own 90% of rain water and 100% of catchment and creek/river water, and the sea.

    len

    #531074
    AndreAndre
    Keymaster

    The other issue will be local government regs on dam size.

    In my area, you need a permit for anything over 3 megalitres … needless to say I will be having several dams UNDER that limit, so therefore no fees/permit required 😉

    #531075

    My husband and I have been living on an acreage for 30 years, and the first thing we did when we moved to this property 6 1/2 acres is put in another dam, we have one uphill at the back of us which gravity feeds to taps in the garden, and the overflow feeds into the bottom dam, which is close to the house, which we have hooked up to our toilet, so no drinking water gets flushed. We are self sufficient for water completely. I water my vegies and garden from the dams, and have created an oasis in this paddock. I am all for dams, its the easiest way to store a lot of water, and the local wildlife benefit too, as well as my horses. I would like to see every house in Melbourne with a water tank, they need it. And yes another benefit, I dont have water restrictions, I know what I have got all the time with 11,000 gallons fresh water storage, and two dams, it works well.

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