The NSW Government announcement to fund a $5.5 million upgrade to a regional water pipeline has been welcomed by central west councils and water authorities.
The project is to upgrade an existing pipeline between Carcoar, part of the Central Tablelands Water (CTW) system, and Cowra.
The project would see the construction of a number of new pump stations and a new reservoir, along with an upgrade to the inlet system at Cowra where water is pumped from the Lachlan River that’s been released from of Wyangla Dam.
With this upgrade, potable water could be transferred from the Cowra Water Treatment Plant to the CTW network at Carcoar. In an emergency, the water could then be pumped from Carcoar to Orange by the recently completed Orange to Carcoar pipeline.
The pipeline would have the capacity to bring up to 3 to 5 megalitres a day to Orange. Pending approvals, it’s expected that the project could be operating within twelve months.
Now that funding has been announced, a meeting will be held tomorrow (Thursday) between staff from the two councils and CTW to begin preliminary planning for the project.
Mayor of Orange Reg Kidd welcomed the government’s announcement.
“I welcome the government’s willingness to explore these long-term infrastructure initiatives that will increase the capacity of local councils to manage both this and future droughts,” Cr Reg Kidd said.
“Orange is a great example of how government investment in infrastructure can help deliver water security. Orange’s experience over the last decade building water pipelines and developing pioneering stormwater harvesting schemes shows what can happen, and puts us in a better position than some regional centres. We’re not going to prevent droughts, but with government help we can be better prepared.”
“Orange City Council is looking forward to co-operating with Cowra Council and Central Tablelands Water to explore a project that will benefit all our communities. As well as drought conditions, there are opportunities here to build-in extra reliability in case of other emergencies like a n equipment break-down or a contamination.”
Wyangla Dam has a capacity of 1217 gigalitres (GL) and is currently at 24.6% of capacity, or 299 GL. Planning is underway to increase Wyangla’s storage to 1800 GL.
Burrendong Dam has capacity of 1188GL and currently at 4.7% of capacity or 56 GL.