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Perth plan to become ghost town delayed, with average rain and dams highest in 8 years

SW WA, Map.South West WA and Perth have been the Australian posterchild for Water-Panic for years.

We were destined to be an abandoned ghost town with worthless property:

Perth is set to become the world’s first ‘Ghost City’ according to a long-term weather forecaster and a news anchor. “I’m reading here that unless drastic action is taken, Perth could become the world’s first ghost city – a modern metropolis abandoned by the 1.7 million people there for lack of water,” she said.

Tim Flannery started the Ghost Town scare in 2004. He felt the best way to fill WA dams was to vote for emissions reductions.

As I write, the remnants of a small cyclone are raining down on us in midsummer, which the ABC earlier warned was a “deluge” dropping “three months of rain”. What they don’t mention is that, even before this “downpour” (of 90 mm or 4 inches so far), Perth Dams already have 35% more water than at the same time last year, and an extra 69 gigalitres of the precious wet stuff.  We have more water than we’ve had since 2009, and more is on the way.

WA Water corporation data shows Perth Dams have 267GL of water which is 42% of capacity (unusually good for Perth).

Perth Dam Levels Dec 2017

Perth Dam Levels Jan 2018

By the way, this graph from December includes the bumper year of 2009 (for comparison).

So far in the last 24 hours we’ve had 90mm, which is unusual for Perth in summer, but hardly a “deluge”. Perhaps that’s why the ABC changed their headline.

The Water Corp says 70 Billion Litres is Nothing to See Here…

You might think this was “good”, but the WA Water Corporation helpfully explains that this extra 70 billion litres is “little”, “slight” and may not even be from rainfall, (though those figures are strangely unavailable):

What does this mean?

Our metro dams are currently holding
35% more water 
than this time last year.

Perth’s recent rainfall is welcome but it has made little difference to our dam levels. While it may look like dam levels are increasing slightly at this time of year, this may not be the result of increased streamflow. The water in our dams is no longer just made up of inflows from rain. Groundwater and desalinated water are stored in these dams during periods of low demand so it is available when it is most needed in the hotter months.

And if that extra 70GL is not from rain, somebody tell me why we might be pumping groundwater or adding expensive desalinated water into our dams in a year with average rainfall?

Curiously, the numbers at the Bureau of Meteorology are different, shows  Perth’s Water Storage is 37% and only 216GL — somehow 50 billion litres are water are missing.

Despite average rain and well stocked dams, it is always the time to panic

The local State Minister for Water says there is no escaping the impact of climate change on our dams and rivers.

Here’s a headline from last month:

WA rivers losing climate change battle

Sophie Moore, News.com.au, December 2017 (Here’s a similar story from AAP)

Rivers in the southwest region of WA are struggling to cope with the impact of climate change despite average winter rainfalls returning to the area.

Got more rain than usual? That’s climate change:

Mr Kelly said the February rainfall was another example of climate change where more extreme and unusual weather is predicted.

“River flows are one of the best indicators for measuring the effects of reduced rainfall,” he said.

Because when you get extra rainfall we need to talk about the effects of something that didn’t happen.

“What this year shows is there is no escaping the impact of climate change, which is not only reducing flow to our water supply dams but to our rivers as well.”

 Another effect of climate change is that journalists will write self-evident contradictions, internally inconsistent stories, and general click-bait meaningless climate drivel. The well of nonsense is deep and no end is in sight, no matter what the climate does.

And general climate noise can always provide mindless cherry-pickable truthisms:

It comes as winter this year was WA’s hottest on record, with average winter rainfall the 11th-lowest since 1900 when records began.

Don’t mention that climate change has given Perth an average rainfall.

Unusually heavy rainfall in February, combined with last year’s winter rains, has given a short-term boost to Perth’s main groundwater supply, which is currently at levels not seen since 2009.

Who needs to know that dams are 35% fuller, or that we have 70 billion extra litres of water compared to last year?




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