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Archive for the ‘Price’ Category

No takers for water: Goulburn offers at $850.00 – $1,250.00; Dartmouth to Barmah $850.00 – $1,050.00 and Barmah to SA $862.00 – $1,150.00

Posted by waterweek on 10 October 2007

The Water Exchange showed a large gap between sell and buy offers.

Water Allocation Offered By Sellers:
Water Allocation Sought By Buyers:



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ACT: Average water bill for households may jump by about $130 a year if price increases sought by Actew Corporation are approved; seeks permission to pump water to Googong dam at a cost of $70m

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

According to Graham Downie, The Canberra Times, (26/09/2007, p.1), the water bill for an average ACT household may jump by about $130 a year, $90 for consumption and $40 for waste water services, if price increases of 10 per cent for water and 9 per cent for waste water services sought by Actew Corporation in its submission to the ACT Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission were approved.

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Posted in ACT, Price, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

World’s wheat price at A$480/tonne, up 25 percent on the dizzying highs of the last month, “unchartered territory” in period of “agflation” say analysts as Aussie output draws global attention

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

According to Brad Coopper in, Queensland Country Life, (27/09/2007, p.3), the world wheat price continued its sharp trajectory north last week, straining to break A$480 a tonne, up 25 percent on the dizzying highs of the last month that sent the domestic grain trade spinning.

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Queensland offers Darling-tributary, Condamine River irrigators 163 megalitres allocation from Sandy Creek, to Cecil Plains, when river is a dust-pile

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

According to Brad Pfeffer, in a report to Queensland Country Life, 27/9/2007, p. 9, “last week, the Department of Natural Resources and Water (NRW) posted letters to irrigators on the Condamine River in southern Queensland, calling for interest in 163 megalitres of medium-priority allocation. This was on a river where irrigators across this stretch of the river had no allocations from Leslie Dam for six years. The last dribbles of water sold at $2000/ML; and if allocations sold at that value the income at 163 x $2000/ML, would go to government. Read the rest of this entry »

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White (APW) wheat fetching $376/t, up $15 from previous trading day; staggering $61/t increase in fortnight

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

As price uncertainty continued, Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) December 2007 futures — already at an all-time record for this time of year — hit US843c a bushel last Friday, according to Colin Bettles, reported Farm Weekly (13/9/2007, p. 1).

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Posted in Price, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Qld: Warrego River water licence auction: Private trust backed by six environment groups to attempt to buy new water licences

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

A bid by the Nature Conservation Water Trust backed by six environment groups would attempt to buy new Warrego River water licences due to be auctioned by the Queensland Government next week – the first of its kind in Australia where a private group of conservationists would go head to head with agriculture businesses to buy water for the environment, reported The Sydney Morning Herald, (11/09/2007, p.7).
The last resort: “All other avenues have been closed off,” said Professor Richard Kingsford, a wetlands expert from the University of New South Wales who was advising the trust. “The auction date has inexorably been coming on us with no action to stop it.” The new trust’s backers included National Parks Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Inland Rivers Network and the Wilderness Society.

Trust raising $2.5m to secure licences: A member of the new water trust had registered to bid at the auction and Kingsford said it was now trying to raise $2.5 million in the next week to secure the licences. Some money had already been collected and local graziers were “handing around the hat”.

Pvt ownership may threaten wetlands: Kingsford was also concerned that if the water licences were bought by private irrigators the survival of the Warrego and the Paroo wetlands attached to it would be under threat from cotton and crop development. The Paroo was considered one of the last natural wetland refuges in New South Wales for many inland bird species, including brolgas, egrets and the speckled duck.

NSW graziers, environmentalists protest: The auction was being held just over the border from New South Wales and was being strongly opposed by New South Wales environmentalists and graziers who feared it would cut flows to flood-plain properties in north-western New South Wales outside Bourke.

Graziers to call upon Federal, Qld Govt: A meeting of local graziers would take place on Thursday where they would again call on the Federal and Queensland governments to halt the auction.

Turnbull urges Beattie to review decision: Last Friday the Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, made a plea to the outgoing Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, to review the auction. His assistant minister, the National Party’s John Cobb, called for the auction to be delayed, calling it “ridiculous”, while the former deputy prime minister John Anderson described the Queensland actions as “provocative and unhelpful”.

Last auction in the system: The auction of 8000 megalitres of water from the Warrego River on 18 and 19 September, by the State Government, would be the last water licence auction allowed on the Murray-Darling system.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 11/9/2007, p. 7

Posted in algae, nsw, Price, qld, water, Water Markets, Water Trade, Water Week Vol 0411, Wetlands | Leave a Comment »

$300/ML compo to 900 irrigators in seven NSW ground-water zones for cuts to water they got for free, in the first place: but irrigators to sue, for more

Posted by waterweek on 19 September 2007

About $118 million in financial assistance will start flowing to about 900 NSW irrigation licence holders, while a further $7 million will be offered to Lower Lachlan Valley groundwater licence hold­ers once the region’s water shar­ing plan has been finalised. Groundwater users group chair Greg Sandford, of “Noorumboon”, Deniliquin, said irrigators initially were told cuts to water entitlements would occur “across the board”, and it was only when the ASGE scheme was announced in 2005 they learned payouts would be based on history-of-use instead. Sandford said irrigators were losing about 168,000 megal­itres of water entitlement but only about 20,000ML would be covered by ASGE payments at about $300/ML, wrote Alan Dick in The Land, 13/9/2007, p. 25. The rest will not get any money at all,” he said.

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Agflation: Grain prices to rattle beef, dairy, pork, eggs and chicken: “disaster unprecedented in Australian history” predicts Horticulture Coun­cil chief

Posted by waterweek on 18 September 2007

It’s called agflation and it’s coming very soon, propelled by climate change and drought. Grain prices have hit record levels, and those prices will ram­ify through the feed chain —beef, dairy, pork, eggs and chicken — and reach consumers. Australian Horticulture Coun­cil chief executive Kris Newton says the severe cutback in irriga­tion water could result in price rises, as seen with bananas after Cyclone Larry, reported Asa Wahlquist in The Australian, (15/9/2007, p. 33).

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Posted in agriculture, Drought, Emergency, Energy, Grains, Irrigation, Price, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Qld arm of Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas questions fuel subsidy; warns of ‘serious economic’ hit as oil and food markets compete

Posted by waterweek on 18 September 2007

Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas Brisbane spokes­man Stuart McCarthy warned of “tough (and expensive) decisions” to avoid a serious economic hit. “What we’d like to see come out of the McNamara report (by new Queensland Minister for Sustainability Andrew McNamara) is a big re-po­sitioning of funding for public trans­port,” McCarthy said, reported The Courier Mail (15/9/2007, p.16). He also warns that bio-fuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel, while useful, were no substitute for oil.

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Posted in agriculture, Emergency, Energy, Grains, Price, qld, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Victoria Latrobe Valley power stations water buyers for a second year after from Blue Rock irrigators after low inflows, sabotaged allocations

Posted by waterweek on 18 September 2007

The Latrobe Valley power stations supply 85 per cent of Victoria’s electricity and use about 140 billion litres of water a year. They receive an annual allocation from Blue Rock dam under an agreement with the State Government. But the water crisis has hit Victoria’s power sector hard over the past financial year. Two major Latrobe generators – Yallourn and Loy Yang B- bought emergency supplies over the internet from Blue Rock irrigators because low inflows sabotaged their allocations. In June, The Age revealed that the power stations were investigating alternatives. A State Government-commissioned study explored options including on-site desalination plants and dry cooling systems, reported The Age, (10/9/2007), p. 4.

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Posted in Allocations, Dams, desalination, Emergency, Irrigation, Price, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Catastrophic: SA pig farmers, lot feeders closing as pork and beef prices will not cover the huge cost of buying barley, at highest price ever, $360 a tonne

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

Mr Ivan Venning , Member for Schubert, told the House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007: ” I do not know what the answer is, but the house must realise the catastrophic situation we are in:

• The pig farmers and the lot feeders are closing down because the pork and beef prices will not cover the huge cost of buying barley at, say, $360 a tonne. That is the highest price ever, and it is a total aberration because there is no barley.

• The meat meal costs have gone through the roof, so they cannot afford to raise pigs. It is the same with the eggs and broilers for the chooks, and I assume that they would be affected in the same way. It is a very sad situation, and I hope that the minister and others can come on side and, with the federal government, address this situation. Of course, if it rains tonight, it might solve the problem”.

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, Drought, Emergency, Grains, Price, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

SA farmers pre-sell crop; told – at $200 per tonne, forward sell; one sold 3,000 tonnes barley at $200; price now $370, no water, no barley, he’s bankrupt

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

Ivan Venning, Member for Schubert, told the House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007 said the drought was so severe “.. we are already seeing foreclosures by many of the banks. To make matters worse, we have another anomaly, which is a most unusual situation of the washout of contracts”.

Farmers to pre-sold their crop for the first time; “It is not because of deregulation; but deregulation of our industries, particularly barley, has caused many farmers to pre-sell their crop for the first time. We are told by experts to get advice and, particularly with barley, if it gets to $200 per tonne to forward sell. I know of one farmer who forward sold 3 000 tonnes of his barley at $200 per tonne, and now will not grow a single grain.

Banks are refusing to finance: “ The problem is that the price of that barley today is $370. That farmer has to go and buy 3 000 tonnes of barley for that contract at $370, and it is washed out at $200. That is what is called a `washout’. You do not need to be much of a mathematician to see what that adds up to. That adds up to a massive amount of money plus, in some instances, there is a $40 per tonne penalty. That is horrific. To make it worse, the banks are refusing to finance these washouts.

Drought subsidies not enough: “EC funding is available to a lot of these farmers, but it will not save many of them because of the immensity of the problem. It also affects all other areas of agriculture, not just the grain growers I am involved with. It affects the viticulturalists, the grape growers, the graziers and the haymakers. It is affecting everybody across the whole board, including the rural communities that support them, particularly the agents and the machinery manufacturers. Everybody is involved, even cities such as Whyalla. It is affecting everybody”.

Reference: Ivan Venning, Member for Schubert, House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007.

Posted in Allocations, Climate, Emergency, Grains, Policy, Price, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Sea-water into drinking water cheaper than desal, at 5-12 kW/cubic metre of water: new-idea, biomimetics;1.6 kwh/cubic metre

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

“It’s often the case that green technology is considered to be commercially unattractive,” says Michael Pawlyn, an architect at Grimshaw, the firm behind the Eden project, a highly acclaimed biome structure in England, reported The Economist (8/9/07, p. 25).

Beetles the key?: That perception, he says, was wrong – and he has the designs to prove it. This meant finding a way to turn sea-water into clean drinking water without expending too much energy. Fog-basking beetles, which are found in Namibia, have an ingeniously simple way of doing this. They hide underground during the day so that when they come out at night, their dark backs are relatively cool compared with the ambient night air. As moisture-laden breezes roll in from the Atlantic, the water in the air condenses on the beetle’s back (just as a cold bottle of beer left on a table causes water in the air to condense on its surface). The beetles simply have to tilt their bodies to make the water trickle into their mouths.

Or camels?: A similar trick was also used by camels to prevent them from losing moisture as they exhale. Moisture secreted through the nostrils evaporated as the camel breathed in, cooling the nostrils in the process. When the camel breathed out, moisture within the air then condenses on the nostrils.

Inspired by camels’ nostrils: Inspired by this, Pawlyn and his colleagues have designed their theatre around the same principles. A series of tall, vertical evaptoration “gills” were positioned so that they face towards the sea and the incoming coastal breeze. Warm seawater, taken from close to the surface, would be pumped so that it trickles down these units. As the breeze blew through the gills some of the sea-water would evaporate, leaving salt behind. The clean, moist air would then continue down its journey until it encounters a series of vertical condensing pipes. These would be kept cold by pumping deep-sea water, from 1,000 metres below the surface, through them. As the moist, warm air hit the pipes the water condensed and trickled down to be collected.

1.6 kWh/cubic metre needed: “You get a very powerful desalination effect,” said Pawlyn. This system was able to supply enough water for the 70,000-square-metre complex. A traditional flash-distillation desalination plant consumed between five and 12 kilowatt hours (kwh) of energy per cubic metre of water. The biomimetic approach, however, required just 1.6 kwh per cubic metre. And since the water pumps would be mostly powered by a wind turbine, driven by the same prevailing winds that provide the plant’s airflow, the overall energy consumption of the site was reduced even further. In the process, the same system can also help to cool neighbouring buildings, said Pawlyn.

Posted in desalination, New ideas, Price, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Giant desal for Adelaide; bigger Mount Bold reservoir; desal location-options, Pelican Point, Port Stanvac or further south

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia, told the House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007 of plans to building a desalination plant, and expand a dam, and raise retail water prices, to pay for it. Rann said “In years of abundant rain, Adelaide can draw 90 per cent of its water from rain that is captured in our reservoirs in the Mount Lofty Ranges. In years of average rainfall, 60 per cent of Adelaide’s water comes from rain that falls in the Mount Lofty catchments, while 40 per cent is pumped from the River Murray. It is only in rare years of severe drought that Adelaide relies so heavily on River Murray water, with up to 90 per cent of our water coming directly from the river”.

Water storage capacity in the Hills” Given that water run-off in the Mount Lofty Ranges provides a significant source of Adelaide’s water supply in ordinary years, it makes sense to increase our water storage capacity in the Hills from one year to two years”.

50 gigalitre desalination plant: He said “a..50 gigalitre desalination plant, around the size of the plant operating in Perth, which would supply about 25 per cent of Adelaide’s fresh water, could cost in excess of $1.4 billion”.

Desalination Working Group: The Desalination Working Group had said the final cost will depend on where it is located, how the brine that it will produce is dispersed, where the brine is dispersed and from where the energy to power it is drawn. Given the high cost of stainless steel and the high demand for desalination infrastructure..up is considering the optimal size of a plant for Adelaide, whether it can be built in modules, what the environmental implications are and where it could be built. Wherever a desalination plant is located—whether it is at Pelican Point, near Port Stanvac or further south along the coast—a pipeline to carry the plant’s waste brine would have to be laid out into the waters of the gulf where the currents are best suited to quickly disperse it”.

Five years to build: Rann said:  “A desalination plant would take, I am informed, up to five years to build and connect directly to the supply grid. Allowing for the environmental study, this project is still some years away, although we would look for every opportunity to shorten the time frame without compromising on the success of the project. The Mount Bold proposal to expand storage capacity, was estimated to cost in excess of $850 million.

Water price must rise: “Together, both projects could amount to an investment of more than $2.5 billion, but this is by no means a definitive cost. Of course, water pricing will need to reflect the significant investment in infrastructure. As a result, the government is reviewing its water pricing options, as has previously been announced. The Treasurer informed parliament during estimates hearings this year that capital projects would result in higher prices, while the water security minister in estimates made it clear a review of water pricing structures would be undertaken as part of the long-term planning for water security”.

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SA Premier commits 20 per cent of the South Australian budget to desal plant off Gulf St Vincent, about 1000km north of the city, and a raised dam wall

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

Mike Rann on 11 September committed his Government to the biggest infrastructure project in South Australia’s history – a $2.5 billion water supply upgrade for Adelaide – but immediately faced criticism for “making policy on the run”. Rann pledged to build a desalination plant and double the volume of Adelaide’s stored water, but could not say when the projects would be delivered. Within five years, Adelaide could have a desalination plant on the coast of Gulf St Vincent, about 1000km north of the city, and a raised dam wall for the Mount Bold reservoir, southeast of the capital. The plant would provide about a quarter of Adelaide’s current water supplies, reported The Australian, (12/9/2007), p. 9.

Disaster ahead: In a bald assessment of Adelaide’s predicament – the city is currently sourcing 90 per cent of its water from dwindling Murray River supplies – Rann said the projects were “the only real choices” left. But it faced many future hurdles, with final cost, engineering and environmental components of the plan yet to be determined. Rann said a “final decision” would be made by Cabinet in November, after receipt of an expert’s report by a government working group. The preliminary estimate of a $2.5 billion price tag nominated by Rann represents more than 20 per cent of the South Australian budget If adopted the plan would almost double Adelaide’s available water supply, assuming adequate water falls in the Adelaide Hills catchment.

Posted in Dams, desalination, Policy, Price, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Federal Government considers buying the eight gigalitres to be auctioned on the Warrego

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

The results of the CSIRO survey into the Warrego River, the first of a series on the basin, was alarming because it suggested that more developed river systems, like the Condamine-Balonne, will face serious problems, according to Asa Wahlquist in The Australian (8/9/2007, p.5).

Water extraction to be halved: By 2030, climate change and water use will see a 7 per cent reduction in the amount of water that flows out of the Warrego, in southwest Queensland, into the Darling. Water extraction would have to be halved on the second-least developed river in the basin for the Warrego’s water-sharing plan, which specifies 89 per cent of its flows should reach the Darling.

Less than 12GL of private water storage along Warrego: The Murray-Darling Basin Commission reports there is less than 12 gigalitres (billion litres) of private water storage built along the Warrego, compared with 1333GL on the Condamine-Balonne. In 2005-06, 25GL passed through Cunnamulla on the Warrego, while the total flow through St George, on the Balonne, was 123GL.

CSIRO report result of Water Summit: The CSIRO report includes the eight gigalitres of Warrego water that the Queensland Government intends auctioning off. The report was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Water Summit last November and is the most comprehensive report of its kind undertaken by the organisation. The CSIRO assessed current water use, including the interaction between ground-water and surface water. It also estimated future water use, looking at the impact of climate change and future developments like plantations and farm dams that would reduce stream flow.

Climate models variation: Dr Hatton said the best estimate of the impact of climate change on the Warrego was that it would reduce river flows by 6 per cent in 2030, leading to 7 per cent less water flowing into the Darling River. “It is important to appreciate there is variation among the climate models.” He said the hydrology of the 137,000-hectare Yantabulla swamp, and the water holes along the Warrego had not been affected by current development.

Lowest inflow on record last year: Last year, inflows into the Murray were the lowest on record, just 1211GL, far below the average of 11,100GL Assistant federal Environment and Water Resources Minister John Cobb said the report “underlines the incredible variability of the system”. He said the federal Government was considering buying the eight gigalitres to be auctioned on the Warrego.

Posted in Allocations, Auction, Climate, Irrigation, Law, mdb, nsw, Price, qld, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

South Australia Yorke Peninsula, council project builds a sea water desalination plant; cheaper than $13.70 per kilolitre of water trucked – in

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

Steven Griffiths, Member for Goyder, told the House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007 a the Yorke Peninsula Marion Bay community had built a sea water desalination plant. Marion Bay was one of 16 communities on Yorke Peninsula that did not have access to a reticulated water supply.

Holiday water – problems: Marion Bay has only 150 permanent residents, but in summer time closer to 1 000 people reside there. It is adjacent to the Innes National Park, which has 130 000 visitors per year. At least 200 new homes have been built in the last 10 years. Marion Bay does get some form of piped water supply from a very poor quality bore probably 10 kilometres out of town.

$13.70 per kilolitre of water: However, that water is very hard in minerals,. The award winning Marion Bay Tavern was always suffering from water problems and paying up to $13.70 per kilolitre of water to be carted from the nearest standpipe, which was about 40 kilometres away. As a conservative estimate, about $30 000 per year was spent by the caravan park in Marion Bay to replace the hot water services which were being ruined because of the minerals in the bore waters, and the pipes to the public toilets were constantly being blocked by mineral build-up”.

Reference: Steven Griffiths, Member for Goyder, House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007.

Erisk Net

Posted in Cartage, desalination, Price, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | 1 Comment »

SunWater customers face reduced allocations, but still have to pay for their agreed water allocation; Nats MP airs farmers’ grievances in Qld parliament

Posted by waterweek on 14 September 2007

Nationals MP Ray Hopper (Darling Downs) told the Queensland parliament on 8 August 2007 that farmers were going broke due to allocations which had to be paid for but did not provide enough water to deliver.

Farmers fare badly due to allocations: Hopper said: “A massive number of SunWater customers have contacted me about their reduced allocations. They still have to pay for their agreed water allocation. The department has to seriously look at this situation. We have farmers out there going broke due to the allocations”.

Crop lost, allocation payment still due: “I know of one potato farmer in Bundaberg who had a certain water allocation so planted a crop taking into account the water that would be given to him and now it has been cut back to three per cent. He is going to lose thousands of dollars in crop yet he still has to pay for the allocation. We have people from St George in the same situation. This is just one example. Throughout the past 18 months SunWater has continued to charge one family business $32,000 per quarter in water charges even though there was little water to deliver in which to generate the cash required to pay those accounts. When they informed SunWater in May of their inability to pay the latest account their remaining water supply was cut”.

“Unacceptable” conditions as farmers mired in debt: “These people were trickling water to grow lucerne and oats to provide drought fodder not only for them but also for farmers in the surrounding area. Their water was cut because they could not pay an account for water that they were not getting. It is simply unacceptable. The minister and his department must look at the situation and help these people. These people received a threat seven days after the account fell due. They had no choice but to further increase their debt, in the middle of the worst drought in history, to meet this demand. The next SunWater account is $32,000 and is due in 20 days. They have just borrowed money to pay their last account for water that they have not got and have been charged another $32,000 for water that they will not get. This is simply unacceptable”.

Only 16pc water availability; 96pc payments due: “For the past 18 months their water availability has been 16 per cent of their entitlement. They have had to pay 96 per cent of the water charges. That is a cost of $125,436”.

Reference: Ray Hopper, Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Water Member for Darling Downs, Member for Darling Downs, First Session of the Fifty-Second Queensland Parliament, Queensland, 8 August 2007.

Erisk Net, 11/8/2007

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, Drought, Federal Election, Grains, Policy, Price, qld, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »