Council’s water policy on track
A STATE Government report has confirmed Douglas Shire Council’s strategy to tackle water security issues in Mossman and Port Douglas is heading in the right direction.
Council is in the planning stage of securing an additional raw water extraction site in the Mossman catchment – a key conclusion in the Regional Water Supply Security Assessment (RWSSA) adopted yesterday.
The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) partnered with council to establish a shared understanding of the existing water security and the capacity to support future growth.
Mayor Julia Leu said the report provided a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges in delivering water to the shire’s communities.
“Safe, secure and reliable water supply is absolutely essential to support the shire’s growth, health and wellbeing,” she said.
“This groundbreaking report provides a valuable insight into council’s water delivery and arms us with great blue print to seek external funding.”
The RWSSA indicates that, based on current average water use and projected population growth, the demand for water by the Mossman-Port Douglas communities will reach the annual volumetric limit of council’s water licence from Rex Creek in seven years.
It provides an overview of the capability of the existing water sources during different rainfall events for projected population growth and water demands.
Hydrologic modelling was used to assess the performance of the bulk water supply in meeting forecast demands.
Cr Leu said significant investment in water security, through projects such as the 20ML Port Douglas Reservoir, will strengthen the region’s future water supply capabilities.
“This is about smart water management,” she said.
“Council will continue to work with the community, for example supplying recycled water to resorts for their golf courses and explore other reuse opportunities that support sustainable, resilient water delivery.
“We are also looking at replacing the ageing retail metre fleet with smart meters, continuing leak detection programs and replacing old pipes where water loss is an issue.”
The Mossman-Port Douglas reticulation network distributes water to Mossman, Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge, Mowbray, Newell Beach, Cooya Beach, Cassowary and Craiglie. The Whyanbeel reticulation network distributes water to Whyanbeel, Miallo, Bamboo, Rocky Point and Wonga Beach.
The Douglas Shire Council area is in Level 2 water restrictions due to a prolonged dry spell. Council is asking the community to help save water and obey current water restrictions.