Wednesday, 10 June 2009

I do give a dam - Aquadam

There is much unrest - but insufficient to change the politicians' minds - in Victoria over the building of a desalination plant at Wonthaggi. However, after seeing the video above of John Dobozy of Unique Planet Pty Ltd that I have put at the top of the blog I really if we are on the right technological track or whether we should be looking at the Aquadam.

I wonder if the Victorian Government - and other governments busy installing desal plants - are getting the best advice and most up to date and sustainable technology. Now if you know your science, dear Networker, and disagree with John Dobozy's concept please pass on your knowledge to me and The Network.

You see, while I don't dismiss desalination out of hand, my view is that we have a few other priorities to implement to the hilt such as
  • mandatory tanks
  • metering of all premises
  • provision of information on water savings and efficiencies by industrial and commercial enterprises
  • stormwater harvesting
  • recycling
When, and only when, all this has been fully implemented and there still exists an unmet need for water should desalination proceed. When desalination does proceed the community needs to be made fully aware of the cost, the environmental detriment and the energy consumption. Dobozy's AquaDam seems to take this into account. Read more from the link on this page.

Australia has the dubious reputation of not following up on its homegrown innovations and solutions while others snap them up and make their fortunes from them. Dr Shi Zhengrong is one of China's richest people. He had the foresight to do what Australia didn't - albeit in a much larger market. According to Forbes, he is worth $2.9 billion.

Professor Stuart Wenham (left) and Professor Martin Green
display some of their high efficiency solar cells

Australia, under the likes of Martin Green, is a world leader in solar energy - but would you know it? In this dry brown land full of sunshine, do we have widespread, cheaply available technology for harvesting our sunshine. In fact Peter Garrett has just axed a solar subsidy - and whether the next plan will be more encouraging remains to be see.

Related sites:
Watershed Victoria
Clean Ocean Foundation
Surfrider Foundation Australia
Friends of the Earth Melbourne


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