A new $55 million pipeline that connects the Calala Water Treatment Plant in Tamworth to the Dungowan Showgrounds has been completed, helping save up to 2.2 megalitres of water per day.
The Australian and NSW Governments jointly funded the project, helping drought-proof local water supplies by improving the reliability and efficiency of the region’s water infrastructure. The new pipeline has replaced leaking 70-year-old infrastructure that was in such poor condition that Tamworth Council was spending significant amounts on band-aid solutions to try and stem the water losses every year.
The completion of the project was announced yesterday wit both the federal Minister for Water Tanya Plibersek, and NSW Minister for Water, Rose Jackson, in Tamworth.
“We know the next drought is around the corner, and we’re committed to making sure regional communities have safe and reliable water,” Minister Plibersek said.
“That’s why we’re investing in projects like this pipeline.”
“This project replaced infrastructure that was leaking almost as much water as an Olympic swimming pool each day. It was bad for the community, the environment, and the local economy.”
The 21-kilometre pipeline connects into an existing pipeline at the showgrounds enabling it to transfer 22 megalitres of untreated water a day from the Dungowan Dam to the Calala Water Treatment Plant for residential and commercial use. The pipeline has also been joined to the Chaffey Dam pipeline that was completed in 2020 to transfer water to Tamworth during drought emergencies when supplies hit rock bottom.
NSW Minister for Water Rose Jackson says she has asked her department to continue to work closely with Tamworth Regional Council to ensure water supply networks keep pace with urban growth.
“It is clear that the previous NSW Government took their eye off the ball when it comes to regional town water security. As Minister for Water, I have asked my department to continue to work closely with Council on finding the best way forward to help boost drought resilience.
“This includes looking at a range of infrastructure and non-infrastructure options including new intervalley pipelines, off-river storage, advanced water treatment plants, water efficiency and demand management options including fixing leaking pipes such as Dungowan.”
Built by MPC Kinetic, the Dungowan pipeline has also benefited the community by creating local jobs and contributed $6 million to the local economy during design and construction.
The infrastructure is currently undergoing testing which will be finished in September along with final connections before being handed over to the Council to own and operate.
Tamworth Mayor Russell Webb says council is looking forward to the commissioning of the new Dungowan Pipeline in the coming months.
“The new pipeline is a great start towards water security for the Tamworth region and we look forward to working with both the State and Federal Government on further options to help us face the challenges of the next dry period.”
Top image: Tanya Plibersek talking about water security at the Bush Summit in Tamworth yesterday (Tom Plevey)
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