Last week, this newspaper reported on the abnormally high commercial …

Comment on Council partnership in CBD complex seems certain by Physics Bill.

Last week, this newspaper reported on the abnormally high commercial vacancy rate in Alice. This week, I learn that the town council will build more commercial property.
My suspicion is that the town council needs to help finance this because no other investor is willing to put their own money into building additional commercial property to add to the existing surplus.

Recent Comments by Physics Bill

Most youth crime down to locals, not bush visitors
The statistic that is not addressed is how many of the crimes committed in the period 01/08/2016 – 31/07/2017 have had the perpetrators identified? The numbers below are from the link at end of comment.
House break-ins 363
Commercial break-ins 388
Motor vehicle theft 366
Property Damage 1815
If the police don’t know who committed most of the crimes, conclusions about the demographics of the perpetrators are suspect.

Town gets a say in its economic future as $2b cut hits home
This cut amounts to $8,140 for every inhabitant of the Territory. I used the ABS population figure for Sep 2016. “Enormous implications” is an understatement!
Last year’s budget was $5.7b, so the choices are, eliminate whole programs and departments, cut everything by about 9%, or indebt the kids and grandkids.

Salt mine: Alice needs to grasp a major opportunity
How does Tellus plan to ship the salt they will be mining? They will have it much easier with a sealed road. Let them pay for the road they need!

Vast groundwater discovery by Arafura Resources
Are there any more quantifiable details available about this groundwater basin?
From the Alice Springs Water Allocation Plan 2013-2018:
The volume of groundwater in storage in the Mereenie AS in the Roe Creek area with a TDS of less than 1000 mg/l was last estimated to be between 750 to 1060 GL.
How vast and how good is this new water supply?

Todd River dam: It’s all been said before.
This report is available for viewing in the Alice Springs collection of the town library.
The report recommends the full (wet) dam option that would permanently flood Tnyere-Akerte. It would be 35 meters high with a spillway 20 m above the riverbed. The report also discusses the empty (dry) dam option starting on page 66 of volume 1.
Both options mitigate the 100 year flood and were roughly equal in cost (~$20M in 1990 dollars).
The empty dam would have a 6.5 meter diameter channel in the bottom to drain at a rate that would not cause the Todd to flood. Both options would trap sediment above them that would have to be moved downstream to keep the riverbed refreshed.
The empty dam option required some extra engineering at an uncertain cost to manage high flow rate (50km/hr) in the 6.5 m diameter channel. The full dam option could be used as a recreation lake or to provide some supplemental drinking water, but there is no further discussion of a recreation lake.
As Erwin noted in his water plan article the “Pan evaporation” is 3 m per year. This means the proposed recreation lake level would decrease an average of 8mm every day there is no runoff. When there is runoff in the 360 km^2 dam catchment the 1.2 km^2 lake would rise 300mm for every mm of runoff.
My recommendation is that the empty dam option be reconsidered. A recreation lake with highly variable lake levels does not seem to me to be much of an advantage.

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