Would dams reduce flooding?

There is a hysterical op-ed (subscription required) in the Financial Review today by Chas Keys – former deputy-general of the NSW State Emergency Service.

So Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott want to tackle the flood problem by building more dams. This is a simplistic, pre-1950s solution to a problem that needs a considered, multi-faceted approach.

Do Joyce and Abbott realise how many dams would be required to store even a modest proportion of the water in the floods? Do they realise how little mitigation would actually have been achieved even with several more big dams?

This is a huge strawman. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that all rain falling from the sky be captured in a dam. Rather that dams be employed to reduce flood damage. There is evidence (HT: Bolt) that this could occur.

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163 Responses to Would dams reduce flooding?

  1. Sinclair Davidson

    Of course the NBN will solve all these sorts of problems. In future people will be able to download sandbags off the internet.

  2. .

    Well…

    http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/general/snowy-hydro-under-fire-over-water-release/2032134.aspx

    “SNOWY Hydro has denied playing a role in exacerbating this month’s devastating floods despite a leaked document which appears to show that the authority released almost 7000 megalitres from Eucumbene Dam on December 8 – causing water levels to rise to peaks of close to 10 metres downstream in the Murrumbidgee.”

    I would have thought too they’d be pressure to actually keep it in reserve or send it down the Snowy…

  3. ken n

    All Abbott is proposing is that an expert panel look at it. When plans to build dams have been turned down for reasons that have nothing to do with flood mitigation or water conservation, it is worth considering what would happen if they were built.
    Opponents talk of “1950’s thinking” or “old fashioned” as if fashion should have an effect on these decisions.

  4. .

    “Do Joyce and Abbott realise how many dams would be required to store even a modest proportion of the water in the floods? Do they realise how little mitigation would actually have been achieved even with several more big dams.”

    Good. We build a lot of dams and get more electricity, and have more water in hard times. My concern is where the dams are put, if fish ladders are built and if the dams cause excessive hydrological pressure.

    We should have more.

  5. FDB

    Chas Keys:

    “Do Joyce and Abbott realise how many dams would be required to store even a modest proportion of the water in the floods? Do they realise how little mitigation would actually have been achieved even with several more big dams.”

    Sinclair:

    “This is a huge strawman. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that all rain falling from the sky be captured in a dam.”

    ?

    Perhaps the “hysterical” parts of the article are behind the paywall?

  6. ken n

    Mankind has been building dams for thousands of year. Recently we in this country have stopped, despite water shortages, risk of flood and the benefits of hydro electricity.
    It must be worth asking whether the best decisions were made.
    One particularly dopey politician (can’t remember who) talked of “virtual dams’ when he meant water restrictions.

  7. Funny, Catallaxy generally thinks Commonwealth intervention in traditional State things like the national curriculum is a waste of time and even counter productive.

    Yet Sinclair seems to think that a Abbott led panel is somehow going to help State governments overcome one of the most perennially politically problematic and essentially State based issues of the last 40 years (where to build dams)?

    I don’t think so.

  8. C.L.

    The flood disaster will cost probably $10 billion. Labor’s response: faster YouTube.

    Sinclair is right. The straw man – viz: ha ha – dumb Abbott thinks we can catch all the rain – was wheeled out early. He never suggested that.

    Here’s the ABC’s ‘expert’ on the Abbott remarks:

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced Friday a plan to build more dams as a way of managing water in the country.

    But Jamie Pittock, a researcher at the Australian National University, says Mr Abbott’s idea is not smart.

    “You can either build a dam to store water for use, but if the dam is full of stored water it cannot catch a flood,” he said.

    “If you want to build a dam to catch a flood, you have to keep that dam empty and then that doesn’t store water. You can’t have it both ways.”

    There’s enough straw there to fill Peter Garrett’s noggin.

    I wondered who this Jamie Pittock was, by the way. The ABC said he was just an ‘expert.’ Well, maybe. Inter alia:

    Jamie Pittock, BSc(Hons) has a background in zoology and geography. Since 1994, Jamie has Worked for the World Wide Fund for Nature (Sydney) and is now Program Leader for Australian nature conservation program and National Co-ordinator of the Threatened Species Network.

    So he’s a greenie who opposes dams. What a shock.

  9. .

    “Yet Sinclair seems to think that a Abbott led panel is somehow going to help State governments overcome one of the most perennially politically problematic and essentially State based issues of the last 40 years (where to build dams)?

    I don’t think so.”

    Please tell us how we’re going to reversal Commonwealth abuse of the constitution other than by Commonwealth intervention. The High Court usually doesn’t change it’s decisions voluntarily, and not within 20-30 years.

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    Steve – the federal government vetoed a dam that the Queensland state government wanted to build. Just saying…

  11. rog

    They cant use dams to mitigate flooding, they have to let water out before the deluge to stop it from topping. If the water is allowed to build up and it tops there is a real risk of failure and losing the entire dam. Years ago they spent a small fortune building up Warragamba for just an event.

  12. JC

    Oh ffs, Quodger is now a dam engineer.

    Quodge , you never finished high school. Stop talking above your station in life.

  13. .

    “They cant use dams to mitigate flooding”

    Whatever.

  14. Michael Fisk

    Could Abbott-haters please stop allowing their hatred of the man distort their judgment? Here’s Anna Bligh, arguing that damns mitigate floods.

    “Without a doubt the Wivenhoe Dam has already saved Brisbane from a catastrophic flood in the next 48 hours but we have to keep releasing water from it so it can keep doing the job it’s doing.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/newshome/8623185/toowoomba-devastated-by-flooding/

    Got that? Damns mitigate floods. Just like Abbott said.

    I really hope Abbott doesn’t ever make the observation that the sky is blue. He’ll have deranged leftists furiously denouncing him, press releases from the Wilderness Society attacking the preposterous notion of the sky being blue, and group-signed letters from “50 prominent meteorologists” calling for Abbott to resign.

  15. Fleeced

    Rog, you nimrod, of course dams can be used for flood mitigation – the Wivenhoe dam was even built with extra capacity precisely for that purpose.

    Nothing wrong with dropping out of school, rog, but do strive to educate yourself before making idiotic comments.

  16. Michael Fisk

    In rog’s fairness, nothing he is saying is stupider than Gillard’s denial that damns can stop or mitigate floods. He is in good company.

  17. Michael Fisk

    Steve, I think Alan Jones is on the air now. Perhaps you should call him and explain your reluctant decision to break with a lifetime’s habit of voting Liberal over Abbott’s dam heresy.

  18. Michael Fisk

    Apologies. I seem to be having trouble with spelling “dam” this morning. Contra my previous comments, “damns” do not cause floods, but damnation might.

  19. Fleeced

    Gillard said that too? I thought she just showed outrageous outrage that he dare comment on flooding during the flood (she would prefer he waited a few months when everyone had forgotten about it)

    If she said dams can’t be used to mitigate flooding, then she is an even bigger moron than I thought.

  20. daddy dave

    This is a simplistic, pre-1950s solution to a problem that needs a considered, multi-faceted approach

    I am so sick of hearing this. “multi-faceted approach”. This is code for:
    “leave it to the technocrats.”
    Also,
    “we don’t have a solution but we don’t like yours.”

  21. Michael Fisk

    Here’s Anna Bligh, saying that Brisbane has been saved by a dam.

    “Without a doubt the Wivenhoe Dam has already saved Brisbane from a catastrophic flood in the next 48 hours but we have to keep releasing water from it so it can keep doing the job it’s doing.

    More dams, less floods.

  22. Michael Fisk

    “multi-faceted approach”.

    I think that might be code for “we need to pudda pwice on carbin”.

  23. JC

    I honestly can’t believe there are people who would be against dams in the way Abbott has described it.

    These people are either too stupid or too sick to be in charge of government administration and policies.

  24. boy on a bike

    Rog, I thought the idea of having a “water management authority” that actually manages the amount of water being stored is that you pay people to measure how much water is in the dams each day; then they look at the weather forecasts and decide whether to release water or not. If you’re at 90% capacity and the El Nino cycle suggests wet times ahead, you let lots of water go well in advance. That’s how you “manage” this sort of thing.

    What sort of idiot manager would fail to watch the forecasts and allow a dam to overtop?

  25. boy on a bike

    “multi-faceted approach”.

    Excuse for having a lot of meetings, generating a lot of reports, and quietly doing nothing.

  26. Michael Fisk

    I honestly can’t believe there are people who would be against dams in the way Abbott has described it.

    These people are either too stupid or too sick to be in charge of government administration and policies.

    They are against it partly out of malice towards Abbott and partly due to the fact that the present generation of social democrats are mentally retarded.

  27. Fleeced

    From seqwater website:

    During a flood situation, Wivenhoe Dam is designed to hold back a further 1.45 million megalitres as well as its normal storage capacity of 1.15 million megalitres. Floods may still occur in the Ipswich and Brisbane areas but they will be rarer in occurrence. Wivenhoe’s flood control facility, together with the existing flood mitigation effect of Somerset Dam, will substantially reduce the heights of relatively small floods.

    It is anticipated that during a large flood similar in magnitude to that experienced in 1974, by using mitigation facility within Wivenhoe Dam, flood levels will be reduced downstream by an estimated 2 metres.

    Full supply level or 100 percent capacity (in the water level analysis) is indicative of the optimum level intended for town water supply, and does not take flood mitigation levels into account.

    In other words, it’s at 100% capacity at 1.15, but can carry more than double that…

  28. MarkL of Canberra

    Wodga:

    They cant use dams to mitigate flooding, they have to let water out before the deluge to stop it from topping.

    Inbuilt assumption – the dam is already full. Your assumption is poppycock. “During a flood situation, Wivenhoe Dam is designed to hold back a further 1.45 million megalitres as well as its normal storage capacity of 1.15 million megalitres. Floods may still occur in the Ipswich and Brisbane areas but they will be rarer in occurrence. Wivenhoe’s flood control facility, together with the existing flood mitigation effect of Somerset Dam, will substantially reduce the heights of relatively small floods.

    It is anticipated that during a large flood similar in magnitude to that experienced in 1974, by using mitigation facility within Wivenhoe Dam, flood levels will be reduced downstream by an estimated 2 metres.”

    So, Wodga, if you go to: http://www.seqwater.com.au/public/catch-store-treat/dams/wivenhoe-dam

    You will see that they normally manage the dam so that water levels are about 80-83%. This is to provide flood mitigation (not prevention) by stretching out peak flows and providing reaction time downstream.

    If the water is allowed to build up and it tops there is a real risk of failure and losing the entire dam.

    Assumption: that dam level management is a black art nobody understands OR that dam managers are incompetent. They are not.

    Years ago they spent a small fortune building up Warragamba for just an event.

    Utter balderdash. It was built to increase dam capacity because Sydney needs the water and the Greens have stopped every dam development in the region for decades.

    None of this was hard to find. Why did you not check your facts before bursting in to print?

    MarkL
    Canberra

  29. MarkL of Canberra

    Curses! Pipped by Fleeced by 4 minutes!

  30. JC

    None of this was hard to find. Why did you not check your facts before bursting in to print?

    How could he? He never finished High school.

  31. Fleeced

    Rog has beclowned himself again, and has disappeared with tail between his legs. He’ll come back later when he thinks we’ve forgotten.

  32. rog

    Obviously a bunch of hydraulic experts.

    It’s all very well campaigning to have more dams but unless they are immediately upstream of an inhabited area their ability to mitigate flooding is zero. Invariably any such a proposed dam requires the resumption of existing farms and houses and as most people object to be turfed out the state would have to compulsorily acquire such land. Not a very libertarian concept is it?

    The alternative, which is how most dams are sited, is to locate the dam away from the population and pipe it.

  33. Infidel Tiger

    It’s all very well campaigning to have more dams but unless they are immediately upstream of an inhabited area their ability to mitigate flooding is zero

    What the hell does the area being inhabited have to do with anything?

  34. Fleeced

    So, rog, does this new argument against dams mean you accept that your first one was complete bollocks?

  35. Jacques Chester

    Buffering is a well-known and effective way to manage and smooth out surges in any system. Whether you call it dams, stock-on-hand, message buffers, stockpiles or something else is besides the point. Mathematically it’s a well-studied phenomenon (under queue theory).

    I don’t think that dams are a panacea, but it would be worth considering if they’d be worth the cost. Buffers aren’t free in any context.

  36. rog

    Don’t forget that the concept is general, that dams be employed to mitigate (potential) flooding. Next question, where will it flood next?

  37. Michael Fisk

    Don’t forget that the concept is general, that dams be employed to mitigate (potential) flooding. Next question, where will it flood next?

    Rog, that is not a paragraph. Do you have anything to add to your now beclowned argument that “They cant use dams to mitigate flooding, they have to let water out before the deluge to stop it from topping”?

  38. JC

    It’s all very well campaigning to have more dams but unless they are immediately upstream of an inhabited area their ability to mitigate flooding is zero.

    The little bit of high School wasn’t all lost. He seems to know that water moves because of gravity. The idiot doesn’t think Dam engineers would know that.

    Invariably any such a proposed dam requires the resumption of existing farms and houses and as most people object to be turfed out the state would have to compulsorily acquire such land. Not a very libertarian concept is it?

    Oh the appeal to ideology here. Numbnut, a decent parcel of my parent’s land is being compulsorily acquired. The government paid fair value for it and it happens all the time. There’s no huge problem with compulsory acquisition and libertarian ideology, you mental midget, as long as compensation is fair and reasonable. In fact fair value is inscribed in our constitution.

    The alternative, which is how most dams are sited, is to locate the dam away from the population and pipe it.

    Quodger , you think people here wouldn’t assume that is a possibility?

    FFS, you ought to be the first they ban here for being too stupid to post.

  39. .

    rog’s misguided ideas:

    1. Dams don’t mitigate. LOL…

    2. Libertarians pointing out that it may be wise to reduce restrictions on building dams are advocating a “national dam network”…

    3. Such enterprise MUST be done by the Government and will ALWAYS involve compensation on unjust terms…

  40. .

    “If the water is allowed to build up and it tops there is a real risk of failure and losing the entire dam.”

    This is bullshit from the Bligh Government alright. Dams are built with spillways for this very fact. Dams are not prone to fail once the spillway has been utilised.

    …yet rog has the audacity to infer we’re the jumped up hydrological engineers!

  41. rog

    Politically compulsorily acquiring land in inhabited areas for dam building is poison eg Tillegra and the Mary River.

  42. Damn, they now have to release water from
    Wivenhoe Dam. Oh shit …. .

  43. rog

    Not true dot, Warragamba engineering was reassessed as being insufficient.

  44. JC

    Politically compulsorily acquiring land in inhabited areas for dam building is poison eg Tillegra and the Mary River.

    The ideological point didn’t work because the dolt never thought of fair and reasonable compensation. He’s now a political adviser.

    Can i repeat. Quodger you never finished freaking high school.

  45. JC

    Warragamba engineering was reassessed as being insufficient.

    Evidence please?

  46. Fleeced

    Rog, to clarify, your objection to dams has now shifted from “not physically possible” to “not politically feasible” – is this correct?

  47. .

    “Not true dot, Warragamba engineering was reassessed as being insufficient.”

    You twit. Do you think this means that ALL dams are ALWAYS prone to fail if the spillway is utilised, even if the engineering is “sufficient”?

  48. JC

    Rog, to clarify, your objection to dams has now shifted from “not physically possible” to “not politically feasible” – is this correct?

    No, not quite. He’s now trolling with … engineering constraints….while prior to that he was using the…..ideological line.

  49. .

    “Destroyed by bombing during Operation Chastise in World War II.”

    Ooh! Relevant!

  50. rog

    You should stand for parliament JC, with your grasp of the situation you may get a vote or two.

  51. FDB

    So Sinclair – you don’t seem to have anything to offer by way of evidence for your claims that Keys’ article was “hysterical” or relied on a “huge strawman”.

    Perhaps you owe him an apology?

  52. .

    Wow. ONE instance of ovetopping – a rural US dam built in 1910.

    “The Laurel Run Dam was over-topped with water which eroded its structure.”

    That’s a design flaw. They didn’t build a big enough spillway.

    Where is ONE instance of this happening in Australia?

    This is virtually an admission from Bligh that Wivenhoe is poorly constructed and she’s not willing to do anything about it.

  53. JC

    You should stand for parliament JC, with your grasp of the situation you may get a vote or two.

    Now he goes for the poison..

    How predictable.

  54. MarkL of Canberra

    Wodga:

    Don’t forget that the concept is general, that dams be employed to mitigate (potential) flooding. Next question, where will it flood next?

    Answer: In the watershed.

    t

    ’s all very well campaigning to have more dams but unless they are immediately upstream of an inhabited area their ability to mitigate flooding is zero.

    Already answered on the SEQwater website. And posted here.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  55. rog

    It’s like a small current of electricity moved down the Catallaxy wire with light bulbs giving a warm glow

    hey, let’s build some dams, that should fix it!

    As if sharper minds have not already wrestled with the idea.

  56. Fleeced

    you don’t seem to have anything to offer by way of evidence for your claims that Keys’ article was “hysterical”…

    You seriously want “evidence” that Sinclair thought the article hysterical? You’re just trolling here, right?

  57. JC

    As if sharper minds have not already wrestled with the idea.

    Qodger, word of advice… don’t use the term sharper minds in any sentence you post because it invariably highlights you aren’t.

    Here’s the Queensland government saying it, you meathead.

    A numeric hydraulic model for the Mary River has been developed. The numeric model has been calibrated to ensure good correlation between measured historical data and simulated modelled behaviour with regards to peak flow, peak water levels, total volume and flood timings. The reduced outflow hydrograph for the 1999 flood event as determined above was input into this model.

    The results of which demonstrate that had the dam been in existence at the time of the 1999 flood, the dam would have reduced peak water levels through Gympie by approximately 4 metres.

    Here’s more:

    While the residents of Gympie are cleaning up the damage that will reach into the millions of dollars, they might reflect on Peter Garrett’s decision to veto the dam, which was influenced by his concern for the welfare of the Giant Barred Tree Frog,

    So I can safely say that Lurch is directly responsible for more dead.

    Fucking unbelievable, death a destruction seems to follow this bold galoot with everything he touches.

    This calls for the 5 Pm Gillard press conference giving us a count on the number of dead ALP policies have caused.

  58. FDB

    Well Fleeced, you’ve come away with a different interpretation (that Sinclair found it extremely amusing) to mine (that Sinclair thought that the author was suffering from and/or spreading hysteria).

    But either way, there is no support from the quoted passages.

    No defense of the “strawman” claim, I notice. Do you agree with me that this is not just unsupported, but quite perfectly discredited, by the quote supplied?

  59. JC

    Do you agree with me that this is not just unsupported,

    no.

  60. Michael Fisk

    Don’t tell me that Lurch has just caused more people to lose their lives unnecessarily. Is that right? Was Lurch responsible for this debacle too, JC?

  61. .

    “As if sharper minds have not already wrestled with the idea.”

    They have and they agree. The brain dead, misanthropic deep Greens don’t. The ALP has been pimping their votes since the 1987 Federal election.

  62. C.L.

    Depends, Fisk. If any Gympie residents die in a flood now or in the future, they must be added to the Rudd/Gillard death toll. Labor cared more about the Giant Barred Tree Frog.

  63. rog

    More than 20,000 residents formally petitioned the Queensland State Parliament to halt the dam. .

  64. MarkL of Canberra

    Residents of where, Wodga?

    Link?

    MarkL
    Canberra

  65. Don’t tell me that Lurch has just caused more people to lose their lives unnecessarily. Is that right? Was Lurch responsible for this debacle too, JC?

    Moot point, dam would not have been built in time. The flood would have destroyed any existing construction.

    Perhaps now common sense will prevail and they’ll build the bloody thing.

  66. rog

    FEDERAL opposition water spokesman Barnaby Joyce has conceded a new dam would not have prevented deadly flash-flooding in Toowoomba.

    Link link? Find it yourself.

  67. rog

    Residents of where, Wodga?

    The watershed Mark!

  68. Fleeced

    No, I interpreted the same way you did (that Sinclair thought that the author was suffering from and/or spreading hysteria). You are asking him to “provide evidence” for his opinion.

    Abbott merely proposed a panel look into it. Frankly, I found it rather a weak pledge – but even this was enough to make the lefty crowd wet their pants and say, “OMG – we can’t have dams… that’s so 1950’s”. I would say that his reaction was indeed hysterical – though as this is an opinion, asking for “proof” is something only a wanker would do.

    Furthermore, Chas clearly misrepresented Abbott’s position. Therefore, strawman.

  69. Gab

    “Abbott, the “wrecker”, the negative nay-sayer who just opposes and never supplies positive suggestions/ideas, merely proposed a panel look into it. ”

    FTFY

  70. FDB

    “I would say that his reaction was indeed hysterical”

    Why would you say that? With reference to what he said, if you please.

    “Furthermore, Chas clearly misrepresented Abbott’s position.”

    Did he? Where? And How?

    It may well be there, behind the paywall where I can’t get to it, but it’s not in the quote provided and you can’t just make shit up Fleeced.

  71. Sinclair Davidson

    FDB – You’re trolling.

  72. FDB

    Nice comeback.

    You owe Keys an apology.

  73. Sinclair Davidson

    His op-ed is disgraceful. The AFR owes its subscribers an apology for publishing it. Mind you, i notice you haven’t read it.

  74. badm0f0

    Labor cared more about the Giant Barred Tree Frog.

    Hmmm, it seems that they weren’t alone :

    … this dam is the wrong dam. This dam is a large, flat evaporative pond, which in hydrological terms is a disaster. It is also an environmental disaster and a human disaster. It is hydrologically ineffective—perhaps the least effective dam proposed in Australia for the last 30 years.

    State Opposition and LNP Leader John-Paul Langbroek said the dam was an “environmental, economic and social disaster” and none of the measures announced today would disguise or mitigate the obvious environmental consequences.

  75. FDB

    Okay then, fine.

    His op-ed is disgraceful.

    A conclusion proffered with only contradicting evidence provided.

    Chutzpah much?

  76. FDB

    As someone who has read it, and given that it’s behind a paywall, I had hoped you’d be willing to back up your assertions.

    But it seems to me his only crime was to openly criticise Abbott and Joyce’s idea.

    Are you that thin-skinned on their behalf? Really?

  77. C.L.

    Yeah, fair enough Baddy.

    But of course, Langbroek was indulging himself in a populist freebie while Garrett was making the actual decision. The decision came down in favour of the Giant Barred Tree Frog.

  78. Sinclair Davidson

    FDB – don’t be cheap. Read the article. Go to the local library if you don’t want to read it in store.

    The article is hysterical in content and tone – as I demonstrate – and manages to criticise the opposition for a natural disaster.

  79. Fleeced

    FDB, are you seriously calling someone else thin-skinned here? Your reaction is rather hysterical in itself. I bet you lie awake at night thinking of this stuff.

  80. JC

    Masterful interview by woman host on Fox of Sheriff Dupnik.

    She shows him up for being a partisan hack and he doesn’t realize it..

  81. FDB

    “FDB – don’t be cheap. Read the article.”

    Now I’ve got to pay money to find the evidence of hysterical strawman-construction? Why on earth didn’t you provide it in the first place? I guess we’ve made some progress though – you now admit that the quote you provided doesn’t support your assertions – the support is there though… somewhere… lurking behind a paywall.

    You’re not working for the AFR subscriptions department are you?

    “The article is hysterical in content and tone – as I demonstrate”

    You demonstrate nothing of the sort Sinclair, as I have shown. The only thing you’ve demonstrated with what you’ve provided is that the article was NOT relying on the strawman you yourself contructed, and contained nothing even remotely resembling hysteria.

    This is just plain weird.

  82. FDB

    I guess it’s the “vibe” eh Sinkers.

    Pretty lame, mate.

  83. Infidel Tiger

    Hysterical inner city cat fancier demands proof of hysteria. News att 11.

  84. .

    “You’re not working for the AFR subscriptions department are you?”

    Come on man. THIS is a hysterical strawman!

  85. MarkL of Canberra

    So, Wodga, you do not know, or you made it up.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  86. Sinclair Davidson

    No, it’s the reading.

  87. MarkL of Canberra

    Wodga, I found your source. Wikipedia.

    An article which has the following disclaimers:

    This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
    Its neutrality is disputed. Tagged since August 2008.
    Its factual accuracy is disputed. Tagged since August 2008.
    It may require general cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. Tagged since August 2008.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  88. Capitalist Piggy

    FDB,

    I’ve read the article. Twice. And apart from the bits mentioned above, I didn’t think it was hysterical. Basically, the article makes the point that flood mitigation is not just about building dams. The editioral makes a similar point:

    “[It may be that] new dams could reduce flood risk. But they are unlikely to be a silver bullet and may not be feasible in many flood-affected areas…
    Likely to be far more important in mitigating the human cost of flood are decisions by individuals, communities and government about where people live and do business, how they insure their property, and what they expect of government when things go badly wrong….”

  89. Ken Nielsen

    Have you ever seen a silver bullet or a panacea?
    I’m trying to find a term for something that is only ever mentioned to deny its existence.

  90. chrisl

    A series of retarding basins on all the tributaries may be the way to go. Melbourne suburbs have lots of them and they are disguised as wetlands or parks or sporting grounds. Of course the rain in SEQ has been phenomenal and this might not have helped but a feasability study wouldn’t hurt surely

  91. rog

    Hey Mark!

    That particular boat won’t float, if you’ll excuse my analogy.

    Dam building is not the answer to flooding arising from sudden and intense storms. And if you read up on Warragamba, they had to increase the specs due to greater than expected rainfall.

    This is just another mindless talking point, the cost of mitigation is likely to be higher than the cost of avoidance eg don’t allow development in floodplains.

  92. rog

    Yes chris they are called retention basins but are not adequate in rain events.

  93. rog

    The retention basins are designed to offset the increased runoff from roads, roofs etc.

  94. C.L.

    “…don’t allow development in floodplains.”

    We’ll just demolish the Brisbane CBD and turn into a nature reserve, then , Rog – hey?

    You jackass.

  95. Infidel Tiger

    This is just another mindless talking point, the cost of mitigation is likely to be higher than the cost of avoidance eg don’t allow development in floodplains.

    Sounds like climate change.

  96. rog

    You idiot CL, there is a big tide and they are currently evacuating Brisbane CBD as we speak

  97. Infidel Tiger

    there is a big tide and they are currently evacuating Brisbane CBD as we speak

    That’s the point, you mouth breathing mental pygmy. Under the Rog Plan, Brisbane would have to be demolished.

  98. JC

    This is just another mindless talking point, the cost of mitigation is likely to be higher than the cost of avoidance eg don’t allow development in floodplains.

    You moron entire towns are being fucked. The overall cost of losses will be around $10 billion or higher.

    So far, you’ve tried the ideological angle, the engineering angle and they Quodger trying to be smart angle.

    None have worked.

    Dipstick.

  99. JC

    Quodger Dangerfield… He gets no respect.

  100. C.L.

    Yes, I KNOW, Rog.

    You’re saying we shouldn’t allow any development there – that’s your solution, is it?

    Bit late, old son.

    You’re just a troll, Rog. You come here trying to get revenge against ‘enemies’ because you couldn’t cope with your hero Howard being voted out.

  101. rog

    Well now that Wivenhoe has topped and it’s mitigating effect is exactly zero where exactly would you put the next dam?

    Tangalooma?

  102. rog

    When all else fails resort to the default Catalaxian argument – you are a troll.

  103. Infidel Tiger

    Well now that Wivenhoe has topped and it’s mitigating effect is exactly zero where exactly would you put the next dam?

    Can you imagine where Brisbane would be without the Wivenhoe Dam you mentally defective lead paint huffing ignoramus? The CBD would be somehwere near Stradbroke Island.

  104. C.L.

    Fails?

    You’ve called for Brisbane’s CBD to be bulldozed, you block head. Ever been to Brisbane, Rog?

  105. .

    “Dam building is not the answer to flooding arising from sudden and intense storms.”

    Rubbish. That’s what they did in my hometown decades/centuries ago. A local lake for recreation was created to deal with the stock of water. It works. Where there is no dam/mitigation still floods.

  106. JC

    Qodger;

    You do troll most of the time. Other times you’re trying to prove how smart you are and it’s embarrassing for you.

    My advice.

    Stick to the one sentence trolling as the trying-to-prove-you’re-smart shtick doesn’t work. You’re not smart enough shown by the fact that you never finished freaking high school.

  107. Infidel Tiger

    According to Rog if a you sandbag a house and a little bit goes over the top you have failed. Unbelievably this fuckwit was a builder. A failed builder, but a builder nonetheless.

  108. Fleeced

    Well now that Wivenhoe has topped and it’s mitigating effect is exactly zero where exactly would you put the next dam?

    Shorter rog: If dams can’t stop ALL of the water, we shouldn’t bother.

    Let’s recap from earlier:

    It is anticipated that during a large flood similar in magnitude to that experienced in 1974, by using mitigation facility within Wivenhoe Dam, flood levels will be reduced downstream by an estimated 2 metres

    Got that? Whatever flooding they get is 2 metres less than it otherwise would have been.

    You really are a drongo, rog.

  109. I had forgotten that the State Opposition and (by the sounds) Tony Abbott both didn’t want the Traveston Dam. Speaking to the press a few days ago:

    TONY ABBOTT:

    Just because I am in favour of dams, the right dams in the right places as a principal, doesn’t mean that every single dam proposal is a good one and the problem with the Traveston dam proposal was that not even the Snowy Mountains Authority thought it was a good idea.

    Oh excellent. Hysterical CL (now there’s an accurate description) can now open a “Tony Abbott death toll” for anyone killed in Gympie floods.

    Let’s face it guys: this is just Tony being politically opportunistic, and suggesting nothing particularly helpful for a process which is basically the responsibility of States to decide.

  110. rog

    Hey IT, weren’t you the one lining up to buy “waterfront” land? This is your big chance you could make a mozza. Yeah, from memory you werent too fussed about insurance either.

  111. rog

    I can just see CL, JC and Capt Mark! out in their rubber ducky, ” put a dam here here and here, that should fix it.” Remind me to hide the bung

  112. C.L.

    So Abbott favours a dam but not one scotched by the Snowy Mountains Authority.

    Dreamliner Steve – notoriously casual about disasters – doesn’t want any until such time as embarrassing flood tourist Julia Gillard agrees.

  113. .

    “Let’s face it guys: this is just Tony being politically opportunistic, and suggesting nothing particularly helpful for a process which is basically the responsibility of States to decide.”

    Yes, yes and no Steve. The Commonwealth has de-balled them, contrary to the spirit of the constitution.

    How else will the High Court make an about face apart from Commonwealth legislation gainsaying such judgments?

  114. Infidel Tiger

    As I said, I’ll buy any waterfront land you own at an appropriate bed wetters discount. Although considering you live in a housing commission bedsit dump and live off Tom Piper steak n’ kidney pies in a can, I don’t think I’ll have to trouble the bank with a phone call.

  115. rog

    You could toss out some kick boards for fleeced and IT, they could do with the experience.

  116. JC

    I can just see CL, JC and Capt Mark! out in their rubber ducky, ” put a dam here here and here, that should fix it.”

    Fucking moron. It’s totally dependent on the level of the deluge, but damming help reduce the problem.

    Qodger goes all venomous after he’s shown to be a complete dope.

    At least he knows gravity works with water.

  117. Michael Fisk

    Here’s Rog, all gung-ho for building those damn dams.

    Comment from: rog May 24th, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    Hasbeen, the problem with suburbia using tankwater is one of public health, it is just too hard to ensure everyone has clean drinking water.

    The cost is simply enormous, every house would need a tank and pump and would need to be able to filter the water for purity and the purification would need to be tested regularly, more licenses permits and red tape. Even tree pollen can turn the water putrid. And then there is the problem of backflow prevention into the existing main system as the tank would need to be mains connected to top up when dry.

    Far more cost effective to build another dam.

  118. Infidel Tiger

    Bwahahahahaha! Old Rog wasn’t a complete cock.

  119. C.L.

    From Steve’s link (airbrushed, of course):

    Well, I am saying today that we need to overcome the dam phobia which has afflicted policy makers for the best part of two decades. I’m not ruling dams in but I certainly don’t think that should be ruled out and I think they have effectively been ruled out for the best part of the last two decades.

    So Steve and former doghouse carpenter Rog back the $50 billion NBN with no business plan but oppose Abbott’s idea to simply study what’s needed.

    Obscurantist hacks.

  120. C.L.

    Far more cost effective to build another dam.

    HAHAHAHA!

    Hear hear, Rog.

  121. Fleeced

    Let’s face it guys: this is just Tony being politically opportunistic

    No doubt. But he’s also right (if anything, a little too timid on the subject.)

  122. JC

    qodger:

    Honest question. How the fuck do you live with yourself?

    How dishonest are you that a few years later you go from building dams to not only supporting new dams building trying to hang crap on other people’s arguments.

    You freaking loser.

  123. rog

    For drinking water, you moron.

    So what is your solution for the current situation? Nothing.

    Hey JC, when you cast off in your leaky boat don’t forget to untie the painter.

  124. C.L.

    September 25th, 2006:

    Veritable human beaver, Rog, attacks economic argument against the proposed Wyaralong dam.

  125. Michael Fisk

    Rog, our solution is to consider building a dam in order to mitigate the damage from floods, Rog. Like Premier Bligh said. Your solution is to abuse Tony Abbott. Very helpful, Rodgy.

  126. C.L.

    June 25th, 2006:

    Rog backs Travestan Dam, dismisses Labor’s lungfish bollocks:

    I am sure provision could be made within the design of the proposed dam to accomodate the QLD lung fish, perhaps a wetland structure adjacent to the main water body.

  127. Fleeced

    For drinking water, you moron.

    Yes, rog – that is the primary reason to build a dam – well done! You said dams don’t mitigate floods, and now you’ve had your arse handed to you, you’re pretending we want to build lots of dams all over the place exclusively for that purpose.

    Meanwhile, we have water restrictions, because progressives don’t like progress.

  128. .

    “For drinking water, you moron.”

    Not always. Many places simply still tap a bore and a river, pump it, purify it, chlorinate and leave it in hillside storage.

  129. MarkL of Canberra

    Wodga:

    Well now that Wivenhoe has topped and it’s mitigating effect is exactly zero where exactly would you put the next dam?

    Good grief… Wodga, you again operate on a false assumption. The dam managers have mitigated the surge, and are now releasing enough water to even it out (reducing the flood surge peak through Brisbane by some metres) and in doing so can deal with another unexpected surge, again providing advance warning, buffering the flood peak and again lowering that peak.

    So how is the mitigating effect zero?

    Mitigation is a PROCESS, not a data point. The process is continuing literally as we speak.

    Where would I put flood mitigation dams? Specifically, I cannot say as I am not a hydraulic engineer or geologist. Generically, any area which can contain enough water to buffer a flood surge. As the Dutch prove, this area can even be densely inhabited if systems are put in place to guarantee the safety of the population when the mitigation pounds are needed. In one such case, a Dutch mitigation pound is also a substantial suburb – with all the houses built on concrete pontoons secured to two riser spuds! This illustrates that many and diverse options are available.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  130. rog

    This is what I find so laughable about you fake tea party libertarian types. You bang on night and day about how the free market is king and government is hopeless and a waste of money, and also an encroachment on precious liberties…..and when the shit hits the fan it’s why can’t the government do this and why can’t the government do that?

    Well the private sector has been remarkably reluctant to fund any new infrastructure so I guess it must be the taxpayer? But you guys are allergic to taxes, so how about passing the hat around and building your own dams and why not let the free market work out the losers and the winners.

  131. rog

    Hey Mark! have you any idea how much rain has fallen over how much country? It’s not like, take a look out the window and think about it. It’s more like a foot of rain over all of Germany.

  132. JC

    Quodger now swings back to the ideological argument , giving that another tryout.

    Next up the pure venom.

  133. JC

    It’s more like a foot of rain over all of Germany.

    He’s good . He’s really good.

  134. rog

    JC can stop the floods! Praise the Lord!

  135. JC

    He’ll link to something now.

  136. FDB

    “No, it’s the reading.”

    So Sinclair, what this interchange boils down to is:

    1) Chas Keys wrote an allegedly “hysterical” op-ed in the AFR, which is available only to subscribers

    2) A redacted quote is provided from it, which is not remotely hysterical

    3) An accusation of strawman-constructing is made against the author, which is explicitly contradicted by the quote provided

    4) Your humble correspondent is given short shrift for pointing out the glaring inconsistencies between 1, 2 and 3

    5) It turns out that to get your drift, one must read the entire article – no individual quote will bear out your points (certainly not the ones provided). It’s something which can onlybe taken in with a complete “reading”.

    What a complete and utter load of bullshit.

  137. rog

    Free market champion and fair weather friend JC abandons ship. When the going gets tough…

  138. C.L.

    So Rog, you’re saying shopkeepers should build some dams using their compulsory acquisition powers?

    Is that right, Beaver Boy?

  139. JC

    It’s the venom now.

    (my mistake. I thought it would be linking time after the ideological tryout but it’s the venom)

  140. Fleeced

    Rog, we “tea part libertarian” types would love water management to be privatised, but the government insists only it can do it… And then proceeds not to. So, yes, the government should do something.

  141. MarkL of Canberra

    Wodga:

    have you any idea how much rain has fallen over how much country?

    Yup. Spent several weekends helping repair flood damage on properties outside the ACT and surveying/sampling wildlife losses. We have already had serious flooding here, Queanbeyan, for example, was flooded.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  142. Iconoclast

    Rog

    While I won’t stoop to name calling, I am interested in your serious, alternative proposed measures for future flood mitigation or adaption.

  143. Sinclair Davidson

    Chas Keys wrote an allegedly “hysterical” op-ed in the AFR, which is available only to subscribers

    Actually, no. It’s available to anyone who picks up a copy of the paper and reads the article. I couldn’t be bothered to read the rest of your comment but I’m sure its just as dumb as the opening line.

  144. JC

    Icon.

    Like you he would support at ETS as the proper way to mitigate a deluge. Pudding a pwice on carbin would immediately stop the flooding.

  145. Infidel Tiger

    Rog, you incomprehensible old coot. Right wingers believe in small but effective government. We also believe that the primary job of government is to keep the citizenry safe. I’d say disaster management qualifies.

    P.S You are a fucktard of the highest order.

  146. rog

    It won’t be easy iconoclast. Floodways will have to evaluated, defined and depopulated. A recognition of agw wouldn’t go astray either ( whilst I can hear collective grinding of teeth I wonder if rain and flood records are being broken again)

    Obviously Wivenhoe Dam has not prevented flooding.

    Repeating Dorothea Mackellar isn’t helpful. It is likely insurance will influence development and councils will have to look more closely at zoning guidelines and risk assessments. 100 year levels will have to be redefined and possibly homeowners will have to be relocated – more cost to the public purse.

    It’s obvious that sea walls for rising sea levels coud act to contain flood waters, so mitigation for one event could work against mitigation of another.

  147. rog

    IT, you are indulging in fantasy. If smaller govt is more effective then no govt is the most effective. How a govt can be small, effective and yet act as big brother providing full security to the citizenry is a mystery.

  148. MarkL of Canberra

    Wodga:

    This is what I find so laughable about you fake tea party libertarian types.

    Not me. I have a hell of a lot of time for libertarians, and for Tea party types (in the hope that they can re-structure US politics and turn it back towards smaller government and more individual liberty), but me, I am more an Imperialist.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  149. FDB

    I couldn’t be bothered to read the rest of your comment [classy] but I’m sure its just as dumb as the opening line.

    Well you wrote the opening line of my last comment Sinclair, so we can at least agree on that.

  150. Infidel Tiger

    How a govt can be small, effective and yet act as big brother providing full security to the citizenry is a mystery.

    They can stop wasting time on imaginary crap like AGW and how much I’ve had to smoke and eat and start looking after infrastructure and things that will actually fuck a voters life up.

  151. Fleeced

    If smaller govt is more effective then no govt is the most effective

    Uhm, rog, that is completely wrong and illogical. Indeed, if it were otherwise, I could use the same logic against you: “If some government is better than no government, then a completely centralised communist dictatorship must be best of all”

    You really are dumb. I thought JC was joking when he said you didn’t finish high-school.

  152. Sinclair Davidson

    The bit that I quoted.

  153. JC

    It won’t be easy iconoclast. Floodways will have to evaluated, defined and depopulated.

    You moronic zombie. You destructive lunatic zombie. That’s what people all through this thread have been more or less saying and all you’ve done is attack them.

    You’re despicable.

    You really are dumb. I thought JC was joking when he said you didn’t finish high-school.

    No no no. He never finished high school and was correctly yanked out to go to a trade.

  154. Iconoclast

    JC

    I am not sure why you assume I support an ETS.

    That is a dangerous assumption to make and an easy way to get me offside.

  155. JC

    Am I assuming wrong, that you’re not the same

    Iconoclast

    on Australian leftwing blogs that sprouts that kid of stuff?

    If you’re not apologies.

  156. Iconoclast

    No I think you have the wrong person.

  157. Iconoclast

    Rog

    While I agree that building on floodplains can be dangerous, it should be the choice of the individual and should come with appropriate warnings that insurers/state governments won’t be busting down doors to bail you out if you get flooded.

    It is the same with the bushfires in Victoria. In reading through some of the submissons to the Royal Commission, the most sensible views came from the people that had lived and worked in bushfire areas for most of their lives, understood the risks and made the best preparations they could during the bushfire season.

    We could ask the same questions of New Orleans and many of the communities living along the San Andreas fault – why do they live there? Should we simply up them and move them on?

    Do we force them to move or do we allow them to make their own choices to come or go? In a simple world we would pack them up and move them on. In the real world, that kind of displacement would win you a discrimination award.

    The great, difficult and frequently frustrating thing about democracy is that it is underpinned by freedom to choose (and to allow others to choose for themselves even if you don’t like their choices).

    On the matter of the seawalls, I am not certain I understand the logic? You’re assuming that we will end up in some sort of “Waterworld” hypothesis holding water out (from the sea) and trapping water in (from floods). Is my understanding of your position correct?

  158. rog

    Not sure if you are playing the innocent….the placement of urban development in floodplains requires zoning approval, infrastructure etc before the individual makes the choice to live there.

    The model of ‘business as usual’ and mitigation and adaption to events as they arise has failed.

  159. Boy on a bike

    Let’s forget about a dam then rog. How about we tell people to buy carbon credits instead? Aren’t they supposed to save us from climactic disaster? Or how about an ETS? why bother with mitigation strategies when we a tax will save the planet?

  160. .

    “This is what I find so laughable about you fake tea party libertarian types. You bang on night and day about how the free market is king and government is hopeless and a waste of money, and also an encroachment on precious liberties…..and when the shit hits the fan it’s why can’t the government do this and why can’t the government do that?”

    Christ you’re peddling a ridiculous, ill informed argument. The Federal Government stopped the QLD and Tas. Govt’s. from building dams. Private industry hasn’t a chance unless the Feds DO SOEMTHING and repeal legislation and case law supporting the status quo. As for building dams, if the Government assumes monopoly rights over a resource and ignores calls to give it up, you’re implying that they should mismanage it in order to look like economic liberals.

  161. Iconoclast

    Rog

    Playing games is not my strong suit.

    I still need you to answer my question – how would you go about depopulating existing areas? Any solution you recommend must be economically and politically plausible.

    I don’t believe there are any simple solutions and am interested in your’s and others’ views.

    I also requested a point of clarification regarding the seawall point you raised:

    “On the matter of the seawalls, I am not certain I understand the logic? You’re assuming that we will end up in some sort of “Waterworld” hypothesis holding water out (from the sea) and trapping water in (from floods). Is my understanding of your position correct?”

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