Water Journal : Water Journal May 2014
WATER MAY 2014 12 CrossCurrent of the State's 105 local water utilities. "The report shows the NSW local water utilities continue to lead the way in providing affordable services for regional NSW," Ms Hodgkinson said. The report will shortly be provided to all NSW water utilities and can be accessed online at NSW Of ce of Water website. Hunter Water has completed a $13 million upgrade to its wastewater system, which should bring an end to years of sewer over ows in Adamstown and surrounding suburbs that occurred every time the suburb experienced heavy rain. The eight-year project used state-of-the-art technology known as 'horizontal directional drilling' to tunnel beneath Merewether Golf Course and through the hill at Merewether Heights to Burwood Waste Water Treatment Plant, all without disturbing life above the surface. 40,000 megalitres of water has been allocated in the lower Murrumbidgee, New South Wales, to help protect the area's wetlands. "Water delivery commenced [in April] to wetlands including those in Nimmie-Caira, Yanga National Park, Fiddlers and Uara Creeks and the Western Lakes," said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment. A potential deep underground drinking water source has been discovered near Maitland as part of investigations for the soon to be released Lower Hunter Water Plan. The 'Lower Hunter Alluvial Groundwater Source' is believed to be about 20 metres below ground where the Paterson and Hunter Rivers meet near Morpeth, and could be tapped by Hunter Water in the event of a drought. A new program, Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation (STBIFM), is being delivered by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). STBIFM will improve the long-term sustainability of regional communities by allowing irrigators to maintain or improve productivity, adapt to reduced water availability and provide water back to the environment through upgrading irrigation infrastructure in the NSW Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi/ Peel and Macquarie/Cudgegong water management areas. The Australian Government is providing $83M of funding from the Sustainable Rural Water Use & Infrastructure program. Queensland Brisbane's annual household water bill is set to rise by an average of $72 next nancial year, Queensland Urban Utilities has announced. Ipswich residents will be hit with the largest rise among the water authority's ve service regions, with an average residential rise of $82 tipped in the inland city. Seven stormwater harvesting centres will be built across Brisbane parks and reserves over the next 20 months at a cost of $10.78 million. Overall plans for the centres show they will collect 185 megalitres each year, the equivalent of 74 Olympic swimming pools. Half of the money will come from Brisbane City Council, while the other 50 per cent will come from the Australian Government. Work at the Whites Hill Centre has begun and the seven projects should be nished in 2016. A $2.6 billion recycled water pipeline that is currently not producing any water could be sold to the private sector or shut down completely under options to be considered by State Cabinet. Premier Campbell Newman said the Queensland Government had to make some tough decisions about what to do with the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme and the $1.2 billion Gold Coast Desalination Plant. The Queensland Government will consider increasing the size of Wivenhoe Dam and constructing a number of new dams to lessen the impact of future major oods. It follows the announcement to change the way the dam operates in times of extreme weather to release more water to prevent widespread downstream ooding. Premier Campbell Newman said the locations of eight new dams had been identi ed, which would potentially protect thousands of homes and businesses. A pilot project funded by Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) will not only have big environmental bene ts but will also demonstrate a way to help moderate water prices. The trial is designed to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering the Logan River and is the rst pilot program of its kind by a water service provider in Queensland. Environment Minister Andrew Powell said close to $1 million has been invested by QUU to repair 500m of eroded riparian corridors near the Beaudesert Sewage Treatment Plant in the Logan River catchment. Victoria The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on the promise to reduce the impact of the Desalination Plant on the water bills of Melbourne families. "As of today, a total of $1.2 billion has now been clawed back from the total contract costs of the Desalination Plant project," Victorian Minister for Water, Peter Walsh said last month. "The latest reduction in total contract costs comes from successful strategic debt re nancing, which will deliver Melbourne families a $187 million reduction on water bills." The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $1.95 million from its Regional Growth Fund to provide a reliable water supply to six vineyards in the Landsborough Valley in Western Victoria, securing around 60 jobs. Minister for Water Peter Walsh said access to a reliable water supply was critical for wine grape growers. "Thanks to water savings generated by the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline, six vineyards will have access to a reliable and secure water supply." A draft strategy on Ballarat's water future is due to be released as part of the Victorian Coalition Government's $1 million Living Ballarat project. "Local residents are already leading the way in water ef ciency, with research showing that around 90 per cent of buildings in the Ballarat and Maryborough districts use water- ef cient appliances and practices to reduce water use," said Victorian Minister for Water Peter Walsh. Stock and domestic water will ow year-round to 112 properties in the Cosgrove area, east of Shepparton, thanks to a $6 million pipeline announced by Victorian Minister for Water. Mr Walsh said the Cosgrove Stock and Domestic Pipeline would provide landholders with a reliable water supply and improved water quality.
Water Journal April 2014
Water Journal June 2014