What effect would the Shoalhaven Transfer scheme have on our dam levels?
A scheme has been announced in which flows from the
Shoalhaven Scheme to Sydney would be increased. The basic idea is that the Shoalhaven catchment is rather large and close to
the coast (hence inflows are large) and Tallowa Dam often overflows, even
under drought conditions (link provides graphs and stats on Tallowa Dam).
If this had been in place and operating since November 2001, a significant difference in our dam levels would be noticeable,
as the following data indicate. We also examine the combination of such a scheme and a 500ML/day desalination plant.
Note that we have estimated the effect of the stage 1 and 2 Shoalhaven scheme by 80,110 GL/year respectively. The actual net gain of
water in Sydney's dams is much harder to calculate as it concerns the amount of water which currently overflows from Tallowa that
would otherwise have been captured. As noted above, in the past few years of drought conditions, Tallowa has still often overflowed and hence this scheme would have helped in this drought.
|Hypothetical since 11.2001||Available water (GL)||% full all dams||1year change GL(%)|
|As is || 2500.5
|Stage 1|| 3333.8
|Stage 2|| 3645.8
|Stage 2 + desal|| 2554.05
If Stage 2 of the Shoalhaven transfer scheme were in place in late 2001, as well as a 500 ML/day desalination plant (both in full use) then
the dams would be sufficiently full that there would be not even a thought of a dam level problem. Even without a desalination plant,
this proposed scheme would have had a big impact on our dam levels.
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