A possible Dunoon Dam will take at least nine years to build, so underground water could keep the region hydrated until then.
A possible Dunoon Dam will take at least nine years to build, so underground water could keep the region hydrated until then.

TIME'S UP: Last day to speak up on plans for $220M dam

TIME is running out to have a say about the region's future water plan by Rous County Council, which has at its core a proposed $220 million dam at Dunoon.

The whole project, including the proposed dam, could be one of the biggest infrastructure project in the area for the last 30 years.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday and already its created quite a stir in the community.

Key opponents says it is too costly and there are better alternatives to building a new dam.

The Future Water Project 2060 calculated projected water demand into the future and offers possible solutions on how to secure enough water for Ballina, Byron Shire, Lismore and Richmond Valley councils.

The result is Rous's proposed Future Water Project 2060, a $245-million plan to "secure water supplies over the next 40 years and beyond".

The report offers two scenarios: the connection of Marom Creek Water Treatment Plant in Ballina to the Rous regional supply in the short term, while drilling for underground water and development of treatment plants until the required supply is achieved.

The second option includes the connection of Marom Creek Water Treatment Plant in Ballina to the Rous regional supply in the short term, while a possible new dam at Dunoon is built.

Councillor Darlene Cook represents Lismore at Rous Council and she said it's important everyone has their say in such an important infrastructure project for the area.

"We are also getting a lot of feedback from Ballina and Byron shires, which are also affected, because their water supply comes from Rocky Creek Dam, but the main feedback is coming from the residents within a 10km range from the proposed construction site (for the dam)," she said.

"Whian Whian, Dunoon, The Channon, are giving us immense amount of feedback, because they are the people most impacted by any proposed construction."

 

Read more >> Why we don't need a 50-gigalitre dam: Councillor

 

Cr Cook said councillors have had access to some of the feedback being sent so far, but a final briefing on the community's reaction to the plan will be offered as a briefing in November, to be discussed by council officially in December.

"What we will discuss then will be whether we go ahead with the assessment, geological, ecological and cultural assessment (of a possible dam), that is not a guarantee the dam will go ahead," she said.

 

A 3D model of the proposed Dunoon dam, part of a digital map created by Rous County Council.
A 3D model of the proposed Dunoon dam, part of a digital map created by Rous County Council.

 

The councillor said some feedback demands Rous focuses on re-use of grey water and installation of rain water tanks.

"Rous is a bulk water supplier" she said.

"I understand why people are saying they really want re-used, recycled water, the purple pipes scheme in new developments and rainwater tanks, but that is the responsibility of the general purpose council.

"While I support those measures, it's not something Rous can actually do."

To find our more about the Future Water project 2060 click here.


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