Monday, October 27, 2008

The Victorian Water Forum

A brief article from the ABC today mentions a new alliance of "Victorian protest groups" formed to lobby in favour of indirect potable water recycling (IPR) for Melbourne.

The Victorian Water Forum is made up of the Clean Ocean Foundation,Watershed Victoria, the former Your Water Your Say group and Plug the Pipeline.

As such, they appear to be comprised of an interesting and diverse group of demographics including farmers, surfers, environmentalists and concerned citizens.

The ABC article quotes the spokesperson Anton Visenger saying that:

"the best thing for Victoria would be not to have a massive desalination plant, to not take water from northern Victoria and to recycle the water that we're currently wasting and pumping out into the ocean".

Not having previously heard of one of the alliance members, -Watershed Victoria, I read through a few documents on their website and learned that they are a recently incorporated registered association who's stated aims are to:

  • Promote environmentally sustainable and socially responsible water policy in Victoria with a low carbon and economic cost.
  • Promote water policy in Victoria which reflects this state’s unique climate, natural & manmade features and the effects of impending climate change & population growth.
  • Educate Victorians about responsible water policy at an individual, regional and state level.
  • Encourage individuals, communities, businesses and governments to make positive changes towards sustainable water policy.
  • Work positively with other organizations with similar goals of responsible water policy.
  • Ensure Victorians water and water infrastructure remain in public ownership rather than costly private or publicprivate- partnership control.
  • Ensure that desalination (due to its massive energy, social, economic and environmental cost) is a last resort option, and then only as strategic supply near point of use while considering applicable planning schemes.

The Clean Ocean Foundation’s support of IPR is explicit, with a current headline on their website stating “Purified Recycled Water: The Smarter Water Option Ignored”.

I’ve become used to assuming that “protest groups” tend to be comprised of those members of our community who are opposed IPR, -not those in favour of it. So it is somewhat refreshing to be reminded that there is in-fact a diverse assortment of equally passionately held points of view.


Anonymous said...

The smarter people are just becoming tired of the silly people taking over.

Anonymous said...

Australia has no option than to embrace Purified Recycled Water. The politicians have to have the guts to go with it. There has not been any mass epidemics from its use....Its better than dam/catchment water>

Anonymous said...

Recycled sewage 'will have bugs', Queensland Government warned...,25197,24568495-5006786,00.html

Anonymous said...

Yes read that article with Prof Patrick Troy. It is interesting that the reporter did not stipulate that the Prof was and urban planned and infrastructure engineer, and had no specialty in water or waste water treatment. So his opinion, though as valid as the next, does not carry much weight.
And hos statement that no long term studies have been carried out on recycled water is simply false.

Stuart, I think you need to contact this reporter and set a few things straight. Maybe you should also catch up with the good Professor.

Statements and poorly informed opinions from people who should know better only stir up the pot...

Dom Gilligan said...

Soon after Prof Troy made his misleading comments, Neil Rankine B.Sc Hons Dip Ed (Monash) who is the main water researcher for WATERSHED VICTORIA - -
reminded me that water all water that feeds into the town water systems, whatever the source, is chlorinated to kill off remaining bacteria/etc - ie catchment water still has bugs probably more than than purified recycled water.

So yes all water gets bugs in it when it's lying around in a dam that feeds the pipes. (I drink "bug"s all the time from my tanks-done it all my life - no problems)

Makes me think that the jouno who lined up Prof. Troy was either very naive or paid-off by the Desal Industry (any one of the desal consortium members for the proposed desal plants in Southern Aust.)

Dom Gilligan
Watershed Victoria founding member
(& inaugural Treasurer)

PS Thanks for noticing our organisation - Yes we are BIG fans of fully recycled water - esp the Eastern Treatment Plant (Carrum) & Western Treatment Plant (Werribee which dup billions of litres of nitrogen laden water into our bays - making a real mess of maine ecosystems and surfing spots, as well as and throwing away the chance to be "rainfall independent" - the Holy Grail of water planning.

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