21 October 2016

Great letter from Cr Michael Rabbitt

I hope you all took the time to read this letter in the most recent Eastern Courier. He has summed up the circumstances of the recent flood (which is now believed to be a 1 in 35 event) extremely well.

Flooding talks

DISTRESSED residents in my ward who experienced flooding during the recent storm events believe that, had councils adopted the Stormwater Management Plan to build a dam in the upper reaches of Brownhill Creek, their homes would not have been flooded, yet again, because of the rural run-off.

They also asked, "How many more times do we have to go through this trauma before something is done?" Regrettably, I was not able to provide a satisfactory response, as (1) councils rejected the proposal for a dam, and (2) we are still waiting on a suitable funding arrangement with the State Government.

It is almost a year since the five catchment councils agreed on a plan to widen and deepen this watercourse - a plan that will rush stormwater out to sea.

This is a shocking waste of water that could be harvested and re-used, rather than polluting the sea with silt and debris.

As part of the stormwater management strategy, Unley Council's detention dam at Ridge Park, completed in 2015, harvests stormwater and reduces peak flows in Glen Osmond Creek. During major storms, this dam holds back stormwater from the upstream catchment and releases it in a controlled manner.

The scheme proved most successful during the recent storm events.

The dam also collects stormwater for Unley's Managed Aquifer Recovery scheme.

In conjunction with the dam, the MAR system harvests 60 million litres of stormwater each year, which is stored in the underground aquifer and used for irrigation of Unley's parks and reserves during summer.

The predominant rainfall two weeks ago was in the hills catchment that feeds into Brownhill Creek. What a pity that those who opposed a dam would not see that something similar to the Ridge Park dam could have been done with Brown Hill Creek.

CR MICHAEL RABBITT, Unley Park Ward, City of Unley

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