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Water divining project abandoned after blowing AU$60k

No, we're not kidding

By Richard Chirgwin, 1 Jun 2016

Two Australian councils are out-of-pocket after funding an attempt to use water divining to help top up Lake Albert near the southern NSW town of Wagga Wagga.

Lake Albert is a popular watersports location in the Riverina, but it suffers heavy evaporation losses and in summer, it can lose 25 per cent of its water.

That led the Wagga Wagga Boat Club to persuade two councils, Wagga City Council and Riverina Water County Council, along with the NSW state government, to drill for water based on the prognostications of a local water “dowser”.

As recently as May 2, according to the ABC, everybody was still confident that water would be found.

The diviner, Errol Barton, said his bronze rods pointed to a source of water that would provide 500 megalitres of water a year.

Having drilled to 216 metres below the surface, the promised flows didn't eventuate, so the project has been abandoned. The boat club's commodore, one Mick Henderson, defends the use of a water diviner, saying “No-one knows what is under the ground … until we do a test drill”.

Except, of course, that somewhere in a NSW government department, there's someone that okayed taxpayer funds for the project. Of the $60,000 wasted in the project, about half came from taxpayer funds. ®

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