Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Priorities all wrong

Letter to Editor #10, "The Advertiser", (Adelaide), Wed 30th September, 2009
230 words; by Allan Taylor of Hove.

Winter rains have now almost filled our Adelaide Hills nine reservoirs.

The city water supply is roughly 60% Adelaide Hills catchment and 40% pumped from the River Murray.

Premier Mike Rann has arrogantly ignored all opposition to the proposed Port Stanvac 100 Gigalitre desalination plant, said to now cost 1.8 billion dollars with an estimated annual running cost of 75 million. It seems SA is committed to this huge unnecessary expenditure.

Greens MP Mark Parnell has done an excellent job explaining to Government that the sensible way ahead is to further develop storm water recycling and aquifer supply. The real problem is the horrendous waste of potable water being used for non-potable use, such as watering the garden, domestic washing and flushing toilets etc. Probably 90% of expensive desalinated water will not actually be used for drinking and so is wasted.

To put this in perspective, Mexico City with a population of 20 million and rainfall 700mm/year gets its water supply from aquifers in the Mexico Basin. No desalination plant is needed there.

This is mismanagement on an enormous scale. Combine this with the proposed Railyards Hospital (another 1.7 billion dollars) which is unwanted by the doctors who prefer extension of the existing hospital, plus the miserable refusal to replace the Magill Youth Training Center ( a back flip now on this) and it is clear the Government has got its priorities wrong.