Collaborations key to regional water security
Water security partnerships are springing up across Queensland, with councils proactively working towards their own solutions in collaboration with industry, neighbouring councils and the State Government.
Three groups representing 14 councils have formed in the last year to address the current and future challenges of ensuring water is available to Queensland’s communities. As water security becomes a bigger issue more council-based partnerships are likely to form.
LGAQ’s Principal Advisor for Water and Sewerage Infrastructure Arron Hieatt said the partnerships being formed were significant for Queensland.
“While many councils would prefer to work with the Queensland Government on this important issue, the partnerships demonstrate that councils won’t wait for someone else to solve their problems," Mr Hieatt said.
"When something needs to be done our members are just getting on with it.”
Multi-million dollar water security project for Lockyer Valley
Lockyer Valley Regional Council has appointed a chair to head a new study on bulk irrigation potential, taking them a step closer to a water security solution.
Council and industry have partnered to ensure a united position and strategy for long-term water security in the region, with a collaboration between Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council, Queensland Urban Utilities, Lockyer Valley Growers, the Lockyer Water Users Forum and the local chamber of commerce.
According to ABC Southern Queensland, fruit and vegetable growers have said they were concerned about long term water sustainability due to dwindling supplies and rising costs.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan told ABC’s Belinda Sanders the water body will be chaired by previous Labor minister, Stephen Robertson.
Listen to the ABC Southern Queensland story and interview here.
Water for economic development in Wide Bay
The Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC) is focused on reliable water availability as vital for the growth of food production and processing in the Wide Bay Burnett region.
The agribusiness sector is a significant contributor to the gross regional product across the region with a great potential for growth.
WBBROC, in collaboration with the State Government and other stakeholders, is looking at ways to help expand this important business sector in the region, while also ensuring water security for urban communities.
Key to this work is the development of a Regional Water Strategy to guide the future water needs of the Wide Bay Burnett region. The strategy will draw together numerous recent surveys and reports into a cohesive document.
Securing water in the Outback
The Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) is creating a water security plan for the region's councils under its Water and Sewerage Alliance; a ‘plan b’ if the existing sources of water should fail.
While much of the region depends on the Great Artesian Basin for its town water supplies, the age of the bores and challenge of quickly drilling new ones in these remote locations is a risk the councils are seeking to address.
The plan is intending to look beyond just contingency measures to things like limiting water losses, demand management initiatives, and evaluating the infrastructure needed to operate existing sources and potential sources to support tourism and economic development.
The Alliance has also met with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy to explore a regional evaluation of current water availability through the Department’s Regional Water Supply Security Assessment program.
Local Government Association of Queensland
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