State’s bulk wa­ter sup­ply fo­cus

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE RURAL -

THE Queens­land Gov­ern­ment has re­leased a fu­ture bulk wa­ter se­cu­rity strat­egy which aims to im­prove the bal­ance in the util­i­sa­tion of ex­ist­ing bulk wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture and new wa­ter projects.

The Queens­land Bulk Wa­ter Op­por­tu­ni­ties State­ment out­lines the gov­ern­ment’s pri­or­i­ties, in­clud­ing an ob­jec­tive to con­sider projects that will pro­vide re­gional eco­nomic ben­e­fits.

This is con­sid­ered an im­por­tant fac­tor as wa­ter projects may have longer term ben­e­fits that might not at­tract a com­mer­cial re­turn in the shorter term.

Queens­land Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Stu­art Ar­mitage said col­lected data in the re­port in­di­cates that bulk wa­ter sup­plies across the state have more than 270,000 mega-litres of un­com­mit­ted wa­ter.

“That could be made avail­able for sale or lease,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

“It has also been es­ti­mated that about 300,000 mega-litres of ex­ist­ing wa­ter en­ti­tle­ments held in bulk schemes are un­der­utilised.

“To­gether these amounts are more than twice the to­tal al­lo­ca­tions from Wiven­hoe Dam and could be made avail­able for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment with­out the need for new bulk wa­ter sup­ply in­fra­struc­ture.”

This will be sub­ject to the avail­abil­ity of wa­ter in ar­eas of high de­mand.

“The Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion has been driv­ing the agenda to im­prove how the state utilises wa­ter,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

“Not only for bulk, but in the ir­ri­ga­tion dis­tri­bu­tion schemes too.”

There are cur­rently eight ma­jor ir­ri­ga­tion dis­tri­bu­tion schemes and their cus­tomers have voiced an ea­ger­ness to im­prove util­i­sa­tion to drive down wa­ter prices.

“How­ever, there are a range of fac­tors that af­fect util­i­sa­tion of wa­ter in ad­di­tion to hold­ing re­serves to man­age the im­pact of drought,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

“And the wa­ter-losses in dis­tri­bu­tion schemes be­cause of evap­o­ra­tion and drainage are quite sig­nif­i­cant.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

QFF: Pres­i­dent Stu­art Ar­mitage has spo­ken about wa­ter fu­tures.

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