Last week Council met for the first time since the July floods. The Mayor advanced a motion that calls on the State Government to change legislation regulating the operation of Warragamba Dam to permit the Dam to be lowered in times of likely high-rainfall which will provide a degree of flood mitigation ability.

I supported the motion, but I want to be very clear that lowering the operating level of the dam is not a substitute for raising the dam wall, which remains the best way to properly mitigate floods. Lowering the dam level might have taken 20-60cm off the level of the flood. Raising the dam would have taken off 3.5 metres, based on the smaller March 2021 flood.

As I say here, climate change will deal us times of greater variability of weather in coming years. Longer periods of flood and longer periods of drought. The reductions being sought by some at our meeting last Tuesday would have let the whole dam run dry prior to the end of the last drought in February 2020. That’s just as irresponsible. I see a lot of people advancing positions in the teeth of scientific evidence they’re wrong, and that’s no way for us to get to the best solution.

Whether to raise or lower the Dam was also the subject of an excellent story this week on Channel 9’s A Current Affair.

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