Water Week

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Archive for October, 2007

It takes about 1000 litres of drinking water to produce $1000 of steel roofing: allocation policies should favour higher-value uses over lower-value uses

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

According to Graham Kraehe, sensible water pricing and allocation policies should favour higher-value uses over lower-value uses. Nevertheless, BlueScope Steel’s Port Kembla steelworks in NSW has more than halved its drinking water use in the past year since implementing a major water recycling project reported The Age (12/7/2007, p. 1)

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Victoria’s Wimmera-Mallee pipe­line’s new five-year water plan; Grampians Water revised cost means water price increase of 17.1 per cent for taxpayers and water users

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

The cost of the Wimmera-Mallee pipe­line had blown out by more than a third to at least $688 million, reported The Age (16/8/2007, p. 6).

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Brandy-flavoured bogong moth, a new bush-tucker sensation

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

They were a scourge across NSW but bogong moths have become a tasty gourmet treat, reported The Daily telegraph (13/10/2007, p.3).

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Radio-controlled moths a new force in “urban espionage”: US scientists inject computer-chips into bug larvae

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

If it worked, it would give a new meaning to being bugged: a moth fluttering in through an open window may be just a nuisance today, but the time may not be far off when it would have far more sinister overtones, wrote Richard Macey in The Sydney Morning Herald (13/10/2007, p.6).

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Chief execs who get more than half their pay in stock options more likely to take risks, usually bad risks, say US academics

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

A new paper, in the current issue of the Academy of Management Journal detailed work of two professors, W. Gerard Sanders of Brigham Young University and Donald Hambrick of Penn State, who studied 950 companies between 1994 and 2000 and found that those whose chief executives received more than half their compensation in stock options were far more likely to take risks in more and bigger acquisitions and somewhat more likely to spend heavily on research and equipment, wrote Floyd Norris in The Sydney Morning Herald (13/10/2007, p.43).

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Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia investigate nuclear plants to power desal

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia were all investigating building nuclear plants to power their water schemes – according to US Department of Energy figures, it could take anywhere between 2.8 and 9.8 megawatts of electricity to produce 100,000 litres of drinkable water, wrote Robin Bromby in The Australian (13/10/2007, p.3).

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A bubble waiting to burst: China’s real-estate speculation leads to public stock-offering frenzy

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Despite China’s efforts to curb real estate speculation, housing prices continued to rise, encourag­ing even more construction and a frenzy of public stock offerings by big real estate companies, wrote David Barboza in The Sydney Morning Herald (10/10/2007, p.B27).

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Thousands of walrus appear on Alaska’s northwest coast as Arctic sea ice melts

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Thousands of walrus have appeared on Alaska’s northwest coast in what conservation­ists were calling a dramatic conse­quence of global warming melting the Arctic sea ice, reported The Advertiser: (8/10/2007, p. 29) from Anchorage, Alaska.

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Posted in Arctic, Climate, Emissions, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Kangaroo burgers can save the planet: switch from beef cuts GHGs by 12mt, says UNSW report

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

A report by the director of the sustainability centre at the University of NSW, Mark Diesendorf, said a 30 per cent reduction in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 was achievable but would need both energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, as well as a change of diet, wrote Mathew Murphy in The Age (11/10/2007, p.B1).

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Posted in agriculture, Emissions, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

“War on terror “fails to extinguish Islamist extremism, fuels it instead; Iran invasion would compound already huge errors of strategy, says Oxford Research Group

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

The US-led “war on terror” had been a “disaster” and Washington and its allies must change their policy in Iraq and Afghanistan to defeat Al-Qaida, an independent global security think tank said, reported The Advertiser (9/10/2007, p.27).

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New Japanese underclass, “net cafe refugees”, emerges: homeless and low-paid, living in cubicles, and net lounges

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

According to a recent Japanese Government survey of the people the media has dubbed “net cafe refugees”, 5,400 people spent at least half the week living in cafes such as Manga Square, though most had little or no interest in the Internet, wrote Justin McCurry in The Canberra Times (11/10/2007, p.4).

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Posted in New ideas, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

At least 80 per cent of macadamia rainforest trees destroyed for agricultural and resi­dential development; conservation trust started

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

At least 80 per cent of macadamia rainforest trees had been destroyed for agricultural and resi­dential development, reported The Courier Mail (9/10/2007, p. 11).

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Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations may lead to hard coral extinction in 100 years

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Berkelmans and Company may be wrong, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (13/10/2007). Corals may dissolve: Bleaching may not knock off the reef. It may just dissolve first.

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Posted in Extinctions, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Fed free-money for rural electorates, to upgrade water systems; Turnbull accuses Labor of raiding $10bn fund to prop-up NSW Labor candidates

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Water Resources Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has previously ruled out compulsory buybacks of water in the over-allocated river system, as the Nationals warned that forcing farmers to relinquish some of their water rights could devastate irrigation districts, wrote Sophie Morris in The Australian Financial Review (13/10/2007, p.8).

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Tas Govt promises release of extra 3,300ML of irrigation water from Lake Crescent, Clyde Valley

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Tasmanian farmers welcomed the State Government’s promise to release an extra 3,300 megalitres of irrigation water from Lake Crescent, wrote Alison Ribbon in The Mercury (9/10/2007).

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“Rednecks” to go green and hold hands-out for carbon credits for land action or non-action: NSW Farmers Association plan

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

The NSW Farmers Association’s annual conference called for research to quantify agriculture’s ability to sequester carbon, and for a wide range of policies to address climate change, including more flexible environmental and natural resource legislation, reported The Land (26/7/2007, p.14).

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Nominations called for community-members to sit on Executive Committees of Georgina Diamantina and Cooper Creek catchments in Qld

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Nominations were now being called from the community to sit on the Executive Committees of both the Georgina Diamantina and the Cooper Creek catchments, according to a notice in Queensland Country Life (4/10/2007, p.37).

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Cleantech Australia Fund seeks to fund small companies with high-potential renewable technologies

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

The Cleantech Australia Fund, which Melbourne company Cleantech Ventures would manage, would invest $50 million in start-up companies to bring technologies from the research lab to the farm, power plant or factory, wrote Tim Colebatch in The Age (11/10/2007, p.B3).

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Improved dam catchments, recycling stormwater, desal problems not addressed properly in WA water-use debate, says Nationals MP

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Reducing water use was much more complicated than relatively small initiatives such as more efficient showers and toilets, said Murray Criddle, National Party, in the Legislative Council of Western Australia (4/9/2007).

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Average full-time salary for a male PhD graduate is $84,847 and $74,454 for women, Qld University study finds

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

According to Tess Livingstone in The Courier Mail (20/9/2007, p.72), a University of Queensland Social Research Centre online survey, involving almost 2000 PhD graduates, found they had all obtained their doctorates five to seven years earlier at one of Australia’s eight sandstone, research-intensive universities in Group of Eight. Most of the graduates were satisfied with their jobs and were earning average salaries of $80,000, although some earned double that and some far less, a report of the survey, PhD Graduates 5 to 7 years Out, said.

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Posted in Education, qld, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Qld legislation sets strict approval and construction standards on creation of new water infrastructure

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

The far-reaching impact of the ongoing drought on rural areas has again cast the spotlight on the development and use of water infrastructure such as artesian bores, reported Queensland Country Life (13/9/2007, p.33).

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Questions about WA’s Economic Regulation Authority membership and remuneration answered

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

Answering questions from Helen Morton MP (Liberal Party) about the Economic Regulation Authority, Labor’s Kate Doust gave details of remuneration for members of the Authority, in Western Australia’s Legislative Council on 4 September 2007.

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14pc less water in Canberra’s catchments than same time last year heading into spring; further restrictions possible

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

There was almost 14 per cent less water in Canberra’s catchments than there was at the same time last year heading into spring, reported The Canberra Times (1/9/2007, p.1).

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Bill provides for national system of public health surveillance; greater cooperation between governments; notifiable disease list

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

Speaking on 20 September 2007 in the Commonwealth House of Representatives on the National Health Security Bill 2007, a bill to give effect to the International Health Regulations 2005, Nicola Roxon said it was a substantial bill with several constituent parts.

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Posted in Policy, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Labor offers Fed cash to Horticulture Australia to identify priority climate-research objectives to start 2009

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

Federal Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Kerry O’Brien, last Friday announced that if Labor was elected to government there would be additional measures to help agriculture adjust to the impact of climate change, reported The Canberra Times (4/10/2007, p.36).

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Posted in Climate, Federal Election, Policy, Politics, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Seven plants currently being considered as promising biofuel crops banned as noxious weeds in parts of Australia

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

The Queensland-based Invasive Species Council has assessed weed risks posed by 18 biofuel crops currently proposed as solutions to cutting greenhouse emissions, wrote science and environment reporter Rosslyn Beeby in The Canberra Times (4/10/2007, p.11).

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Posted in biofuel, New Plants, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Queensland faces razorback boar surge; many being trapped in state’s far north; hundreds of feral pigs descend from the hills in the dry season

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

According to Peter Michael in The Courier Mail (11/10/2007, p.15), a number of razorbacks were being trapped in Queensland’s far north. Boar invasion: Residents are increasingly complaining of face-to-face encounters with wild boars as the urban sprawl of fast-growing Cairns and Mission Beach sees more housing lots backing on to World Heritage rainforest. Homeowners have reportedly been charged and pet dogs attacked as hundreds of feral pigs —some 2m long and weighing 150kg — descend from the hills in the dry season to forage for food.

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By-election snapshot of how ALP will target Greens at national poll: Brisbane Central residents get warning against voting “Extreme Green”

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

A by-election has given a snapshot of how the ALP would target the Greens at the national poll, with election material warning Brisbane Central residents of the perils of voting “Extreme Green” posted to thousands of homes this week, wrote Mark Ludlow in The Australian Financial Review (12/10/2007, p.15).

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Fed Govt ‘nonsensical’ migration policy ignores WA growth potential, favours SA instead, says WA Minister

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

It was astounding that skilled migrants who arrived on a skilled regional sponsored visa were allowed to live in metropolitan Adelaide under a regional classification, but migrants in Western Australia, under the same scheme, had to live in regional areas for three years – in other words, they could not live in Perth, said Margaret Quirk, Labor’s Minister for Corrective Services, in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly (5/9/2007).

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5 Star Plus scheme: greener house to cost $8,000-$15,000 more than ‘normal house’, says WA Liberal MP

Posted by waterweek on 12 October 2007

The application of the Building Sustainability Index was fraught with difficulties about who was to pay for and administer it, said Liberal MP Norman Moore, in the Legislative Council of Western Australia (5/9/2007).

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Posted in Regulation, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »