A pipeline could be delivering water to the Southern Downs and Granite Belt by the end of the year.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has inspected progress in Warwick this morning where experts have already nominated a likely route using existing road and rail corridors.
The Premier said that meant one thing: delivering the pipeline faster.
“By using existing publicly owned land, there will be very little if any land acquisitions required thus streamlining the project,” she said.
The Premier announced a $1 million feasibility study for the project in November. The potential pipeline would link Warwick to water from Wivenhoe Dam via Toowoomba.
The feasibility study is expected to be concluded in April.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracey Dobie said the Premier had stood by Warwick and Stanthorpe during one of the worst droughts in memory.
“The Premier said she wouldn’t let us run out of drinking water and she has been true to her word,” the Mayor said.
“We don’t want to go through another summer like this one again and the pipeline is just the most welcome news we have had in a long time.
“The only thing better would be more rain!”
Warwick’s Leslie Dam is down to less than 4.6 per cent capacity and, without further inflows, it is estimated that Leslie Dam will reach its minimum operating volume in late 2020.
Stanthorpe’s Storm King Dam is down to 9.6 per cent (197ML). The dam’s full capacity is 2065ML.
The State Government is providing $800,000 a month to truck water into Stanthorpe.
The State Government has joined the council with drought assistance measures including:
- $13.6 million to kick start the new Emu Swamp Dam
- $3.939 million replacing pipelines between Storm King Dam and Mount Marley Water Treatment Plant
- $950,000 to the Southern Downs Regional Council to progress water security projects related to new and rejuvenated bores and fixing leaks in the reticulation system
- $600,000 in freight subsidies
- $300,000 in Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Assistance to 56 producers