Bribie Island bore water to help South East Queensland water supply
South East Queensland is experiencing its worst drought in more than 100 years. With six consecutive years of less than average rainfall, its three major regional water storages have fallen to historically low levels. In May 2005, storage was at 40 per cent. This dropped to 35 per cent in September 2005, and to 30 per cent since June 2006. The prospect of receiving good rainfall in the future is uncertain, therefore the current drought situation could potentially get worse.
In September, Brisbane Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman, and Caboolture Mayor, Joy Leishman, signed an historic agreement that will kick start investigations into underground water on Bribie Island, located 70 kilometres north of Brisbane. The island is 27 kilometres long, covering an area of around 155 square kilometres. This agreement could potentially supplement the region's dwindling water supply.
Councillor Newman said Brisbane City Council staff working on the Brisbane Aquifer Project would share their knowledge and skills with staff from Caboolture Shire Council to jointly work on this project.
"Once up and running, the Bribie Island ground water project is expected to supply the equivalent of 2,000 Olympic size swimming pools of water to the region's water supply each year," Councillor Newman said. "Preliminary investigations show that Bribie Island aquifers have the capacity to supply an additional five to seven million litres of water per day to Caboolture residents, equivalent to almost two gigalitres per year."
Mayor Leishman said Caboolture Shire currently takes all its water from Brisbane's water supply. She said helping the Shire to source alternative sources of water would help prolong the entire region's dwindling dam levels.
"This agreement is a perfect example of regional collaboration at a Local Government level to benefit the whole community," Mayor Leishman said. "Over the coming months, both Councils will work together to launch several aquifer projects on Bribie Island. It is expected this collaborative approach will see these aquifers operational up to 12 months ahead of schedule."
An aquifer is a naturally occurring underground geological formation comprising permeable materials that store water that naturally seeps into the ground from rainfall and surface flow. The water will be reticulated between the bores, sent to treatment plants, and then pumped into existing water mains for consumption.
For further information about the Brisbane Aquifer Project visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/drought
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