Damned if we do, damned if we don’t, but don’t turn to water
OPPOSITION to the Dunoon Dam is taking on all the characteristics of the campaign against coal seam gas.
Everyone knows the Northern Rivers is home to the environmental protest movement and Dunoon Dam is set to become the latest battleground.
Signs are popping up all over the region, very similar to the anti-CSG signs that still adorn the entrance to many towns and villages.
Multiple voices are joining a chorus of opposition to the dam, including politicians, prominent environmental activists and ex members of Rous County Council.
The dam is being painted as old school, like fossil fuels.
Dams are old school, but they are proven, and have served us well over the years.
Building a new dam at Dunoon is nothing new and has been talked about for decades and yet there is not a lot of love being shown for it.
And, if a new dam is not built, what is the answer to our future water needs?
Rous County Council’s Future Water Strategy has been produced for a very good reason – if we continue to do nothing, we are going to run out of water.
Rous has determined that by 2024, demand for water is expected to match what current sources could reliably supply.
By 2060, demand is expected to exceed reliable supply by 6,500 megalitres per day.
If it’s not going to be a new dam, is it rainwater tanks for everyone, water recycling and reticulation, desalination plants or new water sources? Doing nothing is not an option.
Let’s make a decision, because with all the political will in the world, we need to get cracking if we are to meet the deadlines outlined above.
There’s precious little time for more studies and navel gazing.
As a community, we need to come together on this and form some sort of consensus.
Water is a precious commodity, exemplified last year when a prolonged drought, gave way to massive fire events that engulfed the whole state.
If not a dam, what?
We need our leaders to lead on this, not simply snipe from the sidelines without a solution of their own.