Between them, the very low level of Ross Dam, TCC’s water restrictions (currently Level 3) and the continuing lack of rain have focused unprecedented attention on Townsville’s water security. At this stage it seems that most people realise there is no single solution – that we will have to approach the problem on several fronts to fix it – but there is little agreement on priorities.
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.