The future arrives as Aussie town runs out of water

Last week we reported that water wars had hit the Tamworth region. With Tamworth’s water storages plummeting to just 13.2%, the nearby small town of Manilla, located 45 kilometres North West of Tamworth, blockaded its bulk filling station to stop water being taken from the town to supply Tamworth residents.

Yesterday, the ABC reported that the Southern Queensland town of Stanthorpe had officially run out of water, with water now being trucked into the town at a cost of $800,000 per month:

The main water supply for the town in southern Queensland has hit a critical level amid a severe and ongoing drought, with its population of more than 5,000 people now relying entirely on trucked water.

To meet the daily 1.3-million-litre requirement, 14 vehicles will cart 42 truckloads of water from Connolly Dam near Warwick to Stanthorpe’s Storm King Dam, in a 130-kilometre round trip.

The emergency water solution will cost $800,000 a month, fully funded by the state.

But without rain in the coming months, the backup supply will run out by August, after which the whole Southern Downs shire will be looking for a new supply.

Stanthorpe and Tamworth are extreme microcosms of the future water crisis facing Australia.

With climate change reducing rainfall and increasing evapotranspiration rates, and Australia’s population officially projected to add 17.5 million people over the next 48 years via mass immigration:

Water will become increasingly scarce and expensive.

The obvious solution is to abandon the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy and prevent the nation’s population (and water users) from growing so rapidly.

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Comments

  1. darklydrawlMEMBER

    I wonder how that “migrants to the regions” plan is going. No water, no Jobs…. Sad thing is that none of this is surprising and have been predicted for decades. This county is run by traitors and greedy idiots. Shameful.

      • That explains the silence. Telling the truth would be bad for business. The mate$$$$ who own this country (and the media along with it) couldn’t have that.

    • Hence the reason why the Tamworth mayor wants to massively grow the population?

      The solution to being a small town running out of water is to make sure you’re a large town by the time you’re actually out of water. People will notice. Support will be made available.

      • So trucking in water for 5,000 residents is $800k/month. For 100,000 residents would it be 20x that amount? So $16M/month. So that’ll be quite a water levy per occupant.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      There are another 90 towns that are close to running out.
      Tamworth, Armidale, Tenterfield, Guyra, Dubbo among them.
      Sydney and Melbourne are about ayear out.
      If we do not get substantial rains in the next year the whole counrty will be as dry as a goannas arsehole.

      • Bolstood we are not getting rains next year nor the year after, Sometime in 2024. No decent rain to 2028.
        This has been known for years, I was writing this in 2017.

        The last drought cycle like this, back 1800 or so, it was really frozen in UK Europe, and whole flights of bats and parrots fell dead from the sky with the heat and drought. searching by duckduckgo gives you a chance.

  2. Don’t worry, I read a headline somewhere recently that ScoMo is going to (under duress, I assume) lead the fight against climate change here in Straya.

    We’re saved!

    • Well after years of climate wars the only people who can deliver climate change policies are not the Greens but the Coalition. Because the Greens and Labor are not going to eradicate what they implement. Add to, almost certainly, but not eradicate. Interested to see whether the recent change of language from Frydenberg becomes something more concrete.

      • Here’s a serious question: are you (and others) suggesting that the FF industry is working to undermine the renewables industry (using the legislature and/or regulation) or is it that renewables still require subsidies to be economically viable and the LNP are simply not willing to provide those?

        I regularly read comments from Members on this blog on this subject but it’s not entirely clear to me which of the above lines they are taking. I don’t see any impediment whatsoever to someone setting up a solar farm and selling power to the grid — certainly this Govt would not stand in their way. Speaking to someone recently who has expertise in this area, the biggest impediment is the difficulty in arranging the connection to the grid – it is either bureaucratically painful or logistically tricky, I can’t recall exactly which. In any event, it is difficult to persuade capital into the space when there are no guarantees that of an outlet for power in a timely fashion – the success of a private venture relies heavily on being able to forecast precisely when the revenue is likely to start rolling in.

  3. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I think everyone understands that the main reason country towns are running out of water is because they’ve never had enough people to make investing in better water infrastructure viable. This is why people support migrants heading to country towns to live.

  4. is this the same region where Barnaby was bragging how the Gov created all the loops so farmers can steal water and not get caught? Fck em.

    edit – almost forgot. these are the same people that will vote Barnaby in again so they can steal whatever water there is left. Fck em.

  5. The paddocks are bone dry, no water left and stock is perishing…. so the chief farmer sees it as a prime time to go to market to buy more and more stock, keep jamming them into the paddocks even though the water and feed is unavailable…. the fencing is also falling down and there is not enough shade to go around either, but the chief farmer is hell-bent on keeping the numbers high so he keeps going to the market each weekend and buying another 1000 head for the already full paddocks.

    Some say the chief farmer is batsh!t crazy, but he has a hidden agenda, an ulterior motive if you like, for wanting to keep adding extra stock to the dusty dry paddock…

    • Brisbane has big overflow storage for tropical downpours, built after the 1974/5 floods to try to avoid future floods … 2010 rains were so big they exceeded the overflow storage and hence Brisbane river flooded. Melbourne does not have the extent of tropical downpours so overflow not built in. When comparing Brisbane and Melbourne you need to compare like for like.

  6. Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA is home to about 83,000. As of 11 December under Level 3 restrictions:
    * 293 days of water remaining
    * 74 days until Level 4 restrictions
    * 137 days until Emergency Level restrictions

    Everyone seems to be pinning their hopes on a ‘wet weather event’ and the only measures proposed are the construction of a bulk water-filtration plant and raising the dam walls. Why there is no anger or fear really is beyond me.

    https://www.portnews.com.au/story/6533621/trigger-point-137-days-and-hastings-is-in-a-water-emergency/

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