BUSTING THE MYTHS & RUMOURS ABOUT TWEED'S WATER SUPPLY
Why Dams are Obsolete
Dams are obsolete and are contrary to the NSW Governments Weirs Policy. The goal of the State Weirs Policy is to halt and, where possible, reduce and remediate the environmental impact of weirs.
The NSW Weirs Policy lists the following 12 reasons why dams are discouraged.
•The still waters in weir pools are less biologically productive than natural river channels, as native species adapted to diverse and free-flowing stream conditions are disadvantaged;
•Riparian vegetation is drowned in the weir pool or killed by water-logging in low-lying areas of adjoining floodplains;
• Weirs act as a trap for sediments, nutrients and pollutants;
• Invertebrate and detrital drift is reduced, reducing biological productivity and diversity below weirs; • Weir conditions favour water stratification in summer and the growth of algae and development of algal blooms;
• Weirs obstruct native fish migration and reduce native fish populations;
• The relatively stable conditions in weir pools give alien species, such as carp, an advantage over native species;
• weir pools may affect groundwater systems by maintaining artificially high water levels, resulting in groundwater mounding;
• Inundation of surrounding areas destroys flora and fauna habitat, including that of threatened species;
• Weirs accumulate sediments and prevent their downstream flow, resulting in erosion and scouring downstream of the weir;
• A constant level of discharge from weirs can result in geomorphological changes to rivers, tending to make them wider and shallower; and
• Weirs can alter temperature regimes down stream, resulting in an adverse impact on native flora and fauna
In determining the need for a new or expanded weir, the following general principles apply:
• Provision for fish passage cannot be used as a sole justification to approve a proposal to enlarge an existing weir.
Why the claimed need for more water
The water issue is just part of the huge picture of a doubling of our shire's population to 157,000 by 2036. Massive developments like Kings Forest , Cobaki Lakes and Bilambil Rise , are being driven by the Council, greedy developers & the State government. None of it is sustainably planned to look at the carrying capacity of this beautiful land in which we live. . There are alternatives to dams
grey water recycling was introduced for businesses & industry in the Tweed (top 5% of users account for 70% of non-residential water use)
Council required the new developments at Kings Forest and Cobaki to implement dual reticulation to reuse water for toilets and outdoor garden use only.
Is the Council Decision based on Scientific Facts & Recommendations?
The shortsighted decision by some Councillors flies in the face of all recommendations: from their own Council Water Staff; from community consultation - the CWG (Community Working Group); the NSW Dept of Environment, Climate Change & Water (DECCW) and National Parks. The NSW and Federal legislation, dealing with endangered species protection, make a dam on Byrrill Creek an unacceptable choice. The NSW Weirs Policy also states: “ An increase in town water supply for the purposes of meeting projected population demand cannot be used as a justification to approve a proposal to build a new, or expand an existing weir, if environmentally friendlier alternatives to meeting that demand exist, which are also economically feasible”.
How you can help:
Ask that the prohibition on Byrrill Creek dam is upheld in the New Tweed Water Sharing Plan because of its high conservation value and biodiversity.
Join the Facebook site “The Battle for Byrrill Creek”.
The campaign itself is called Save Byrrill Creek. Watch out for newsfeeds, sample letters to Politicians
. Watch the videos Save Byrrill Creek and Dam the Tweed on YouTube. Enquiries: Joanna Gardner (02) 6679 7039.