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Water pipeline from Wivenhoe Dam to Warwick subject to $1m feasibility study

By Josh Bavas, Tuesday November 26, 2019 - 13:47 EDT
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The proposed pipeline would run west from Wivenhoe Dam to the Warwick water supply network. - ABC

As the severe drought continues to wreak havoc across Queensland, the State Government will investigate the possibility of building a 90-kilometre pipeline from South East Queensland to the Southern Downs to top up the drinking water supply for people in and around Warwick.

The plan is for a pipeline to link Wivenhoe Dam to Warwick's Leslie Dam across an 87-kilometre expanse of countryside at a cost of up to $90 million.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said $1 million is being made available for a feasibility study into the idea.

"A pipeline from Wivenhoe Dam to Cressbrook Dam already exists to augment Toowoomba's water supply in times of drought," she said.

"It makes sense to now explore whether it is feasible to extend the supply network to Warwick.

"By linking Warwick through Toowoomba to the South East Queensland Water Grid, we could significantly improve supply security to the city and those who depend on it."

Seqwater, which operates the South East Queensland Water Grid, is set to lead the study and report back to the Government on the preferred option by April 2020.

Southern Downs Regional Council is currently trying to manage its chronic water shortage by trucking water from Warwick's Leslie Dam to nearby Stanthorpe.

The regional council has recently installed two large tanks to store the transported water near Storm King Dam outside Stanthorpe — which is set to run out of water by the end of the year — before it is pumped to the town's water treatment plant.

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie said she wanted to replicate the pipeline that was built to link Wivenhoe Dam with Toowoomba's Cressbrook Dam in 2010, giving water security to the city.

"It has been an enormous benefit to Toowoomba to have that pipeline because now they are on medium-level water restrictions and of course we are on critical for residents and our industries."

Councillor Dobie said smaller water links could be established to create a regional-wide water network that would link to the Granite Belt.

"We're getting very close to detailed plans for other works around our region to increase our holdings and our water storages in the region," she said.

"We can't ignore what has happened here. We have to make sure that we are never in this situation again. I don't want to ever see our residents on critical water restrictions.

"We have already got plans in place to put a pipeline between Connolly Dam and Stanthorpe and that would mean then our whole region would be connected by grid and as time went on we could put smaller connections to other areas like Killarney and Yangan and that would mean we are connecting up our whole water grid."

Earlier this month, .

While Ms Frecklington is yet to detail how an LNP government would fund their multi-billion-dollar plan, Ms Palaszczuk has said she is open to the idea of a scaled-down version of the scheme.


© ABC 2019

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