Part 2 NQCC Water Security Series – Water Wonderland or Pipe Dreams?

This is the second part in a four-part series that discusses issues about water in our region. Read part 1 here. Part three is a summary report of information shared by Townsville Enterprise Ltd. about the Hell’s Gate Dam feasibility study at our forum that was held on 10 October. Part four asks how climate change will affect our region’s water security.

Guest post written by Vern Veitch. All views expressed are the author’s and not the official opinion of NQCC.

With Townsville in a drought and under Level 3 water restrictions, the public are asking a lot of questions. Water falls out of the sky so why does it cost so much? Why don’t we just build another dam? If the dams are on higher ground, then why does water have to be pumped?

Mainstream media in Townsville certainly muddies the waters by publishing half-truths and not publishing all the really important bits of information. Through a concerted media effort, the public has been led to believe that Hell’s Gate is the answer to endless and cheap water. Continue reading “Part 2 NQCC Water Security Series – Water Wonderland or Pipe Dreams?”

Part 1 NQCC Water Security Series – Townsville Water Discussion Paper

This is the first part in a four-part series that discusses issues about water security in our region. Part two explores dam infrastructure options, and part three is a summary report of information shared by Townsville Enterprise Ltd. about the Hell’s Gate Dam feasibility study at our AGM and forum. Part four asks how climate change will affect our region’s water security.

Guest post written by Gail Hamilton. All views expressed are the author’s and not the official opinion of NQCC.

Townsville has an excellent water supply system, with highly treated and very safe water sourced from the Ross, Paluma and Burdekin dams.

While the Ross is our main supply dam, it is highly variable, with a limited catchment and low rainfall.  The Paluma Dam is situated in the wet tropics and is much more reliable, but can only supply 30 ML per day.  The Burdekin Dam is a huge system, with over 1 000 000 ML per year of water allocations, some of which is not committed. Townsville has 120 000 ML of allocation from the Burdekin.[1]

Current situation

In 2014, the Department of Energy and Water Supply undertook an assessment of Townsville’s water security.   It found that at current consumption levels of 60 000 ML per year, we would have to be on Level 4 water restriction on average once every 160 years. Continue reading “Part 1 NQCC Water Security Series – Townsville Water Discussion Paper”