WATER-GUZZLING power stations are draining Brisbane’s Wivenhoe Dam to boost by a third supplies of cheap electricity to NSW as the 2.5 million residents of southeast Queensland brace for level-five water restrictions, reported Greg Roberts in The Australian , March 07, 2007
The Tarong North power generator used 1280 megalitres of Wivenhoe water in January and February for cooling.
In January, 198 gigawatt hours of electricity from the Tarong station – or 15 per cent of its output – were sent to NSW under national electricity grid arrangements.
The level of the Wivenhoe Dam, which supplies most of Brisbane’s drinking water, was at a record low of 19.2 per cent yesterday.
Experts have indicated that Wivenhoe and other southeast Queensland storages could run dry before recycled and desalinated water becomes available at the end of next year under the Beattie Government’s $7 billion water plan.
The Government will on Friday release details of level-five restrictions to be introduced next month. As dam levels shrink further, level-six and seven restrictions are likely to follow.
The Daily Telegraph ‘s report on the dams focuses on the power disruption facing residents with the introduction of water restrictions for cooling the stations, which come into effect on April 10, 2007.
Residents facing blackouts
SOUTHEAST Queensland’s 2.5million residents are facing power blackouts and level-five water restrictions as the region’s two main power stations are forced to cut production because of the worsening drought.
As unions warned of possible job losses in the power sector, the Queensland Water Commission announced yesterday that water supplies for cooling the Tarong and Swanbank stations would be slashed from April 10 as part of the level-five restrictions.
Supplies of electricity from the two stations to NSW under national power grid arrangements were boosted this year as dam levels fell.