Water supply mismanagement
To say that I have been an advocate for water conservation and worried about our water supply would be an understatement. I have never hidden my beliefs about the mismanagement of our water supply which up until now we have still not had satisfactory answers on.
However, I have to acknowledge that the State government have confirmed that no further environmental flows will occur until the dam level reaches twenty percent. Even twenty percent seems questionable if followed by a dry spell. One can only wonder what will happen if we run out of water in twelve months time. While we have had consistent rain this year it has only been light and offered little run off into the dam.
I also acknowledge however that in our last major drought when our water supply dropped to thirteen percent, it was rectified with flood rain over one night. Could that happen again? Could we be so lucky? You would think that the powers that would be believe it would given how long it took all parties to really start worrying about our water.
Once it does normalise again much could be done to preserve it and the time to start talking about that is now because people have realised just how valuable water is. When you think that only three percent of the world's water is useable (most of it is ocean) it really does make you stop and think.
I recall some years ago a study was done on Tamworth's water useage and it disclosed that 80 percent of the water was used outside and a high percentage of that went on grass. Jamie Drury a well known television personality and landscaper said 15 years or more ago "Australians have to lose their love affair with a quarter acre of grass". It would have been difficult to do that then, but you only have to google landscape ideas or designs to see the multitude of alternatives to grass and the many products now available. With animals and children grass will be needed, but maybe it is time to start restricting the amount of grass to say 35 or 40 percent of the lot size. Not saying and not ever doing it myself I have recently landscaped a sizeable yard and would only have 25 per cent of grass which if done right is more of a feature than a whole yard of grass.
Making watering in the heat of the day illegal makes sense because watering between eight and ten at night is much better for your yard anyway and timers should be compulsory. The use of fertiliser three times a year will also cut water useage by 25 to 35 percent. Water will keep grass alive but it will not make it greener. Rain will make it greener because it picks up nitrogen naturally in the atmosphere.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge another troubling area of Tamworth which I have been critical of and is to be rectified. Goonoo Goonoo Road between Ringers Road and Calala Lane which has been a blight on the city for many years and resembles a bog hole when raining and makes Tamworth look second rate, given it carries all the traffic from the Sydney side into Tamworth is to be upgraded.
I have long held the view that the entrances to Tamworth should be the best looking roads into the city but this section is the worst. Council have always said it is the State Government's responsibility and after further lobbying by our State Member Kevin Anderson funding has been approved and the design work nearing completion.
With Manilla Road and Gunnedah Road improved and now Goonoo Goonoo Road now underway it only leaves the other major entry on the New England Highway from Armidale to be addressed. Compared to the entry from Tamworth into Armidale, the Armidale side entry into Tamworth is second rate and long overdue for upgrade.
Whether it is Local, State or Federal Government responsibility or all three it needs to be rectified. It is only a dual carriageway and certainly not befitting of a city of our size.
Richie Thornton LREAA/JP, Tamworth
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Planet of the Humans misleads public
I read with interest Bill Weakley's film review of "Planet of the Humans" (25/7). Unfortunately there has been considerable criticism for the film from the environmental movement due to misleading and inaccurate information.
The footage used in the film to cast doubt over the benefits of solar and wind are mostly outdated; solar panels installed on Australian roofs now operate at 15-20 per cent efficiency, not at 8 per cent as claimed in the film. The other myth that renewable energy is incapable of replacing coal fired power stations is untrue; we only need to look at South Australia who had shut down all its coal-powered stations and is well on track to becoming 100 per cent renewable before 2030. We do not even need fossil fuels as back up because cheaper battery and pumped hydro storage options are available.
While I commend Mr Weakley's interest in environmental and energy issues, I encourage everyone to seek information from more credible sources other than Moore's long discredited documentary.
Helen Cameron, Tamworth