Water pipeline for drought stricken Downs

Article image - Water pipeline for drought stricken Downs Queensland Premier, Anaastacia Palaszczuk, and members of Southern Downs Regional Council inspect progress on the pipeline they hope will be a lifeline to the region.

Southern Downs Regional Council received a visit from Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, in January, who announced that a pipeline could be delivering water from the Brisbane River to the Southern Downs and Granite Belt by the end of the year.

The Premier inspected progress in Warwick where experts have already nominated a likely route using existing road and rail corridors.

The $1 million feasibility study for the pipeline linking Warwick to water from Wivenhoe Dam via Toowoomba, was announced in November and is expected to be concluded in April.

Southern Downs Mayor, Tracy Dobie, said the Premier had stood by Warwick and Stanthorpe during one of the worst droughts in memory, providing $800,000 a month to truck water into Stanthorpe.

“The Premier said she wouldn’t let us run out of drinking water and she has been true to her word.

“We don’t want to go through another summer like this one again and the pipeline is just the most welcome news we have had in a long time. The only thing better would be more rain!”

Toowoomba Regional Council turned on its pipeline to the Wivenhoe Dam last April, ten years after it was built.

Mayor, Paul Antonio, expressed concerns about the Warwick pipeline in November.

“While I’m sympathetic to the needs of Southern Downs and have been in ongoing discussions with their Mayor on potential water solutions, I also have a responsibility to the people of the Toowoomba Region and need to make sure our long term water security is secured.

“Any potential decision to pump water from Toowoomba to Warwick could compromise our situation.”

Water restrictions have eased in the Southern Downs region moving from emergency to critical level last month.

Mayor Dobie said while the rain offered a reprieve for the community with private dams and water tanks filled to overflowing, more water was still needed in the urban dams.

“It is a wonderful sight to see green grass and water in our private dams and tanks again, and this certainly offers some hope to our residents and farmers.

“While our urban dams did receive some inflow from the recent rain and this has allowed Council to relax water restrictions in the interim, much more water is needed and all residents have a responsibility to continue conserve and use water wisely.”

Water will continue to be trucked from Warwick to Stanthorpe until Storm King Dam has six month’s supply.