Tap Water

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) water committee leaders have stated at this week’s first Water and Waste Committee meeting that water security is the highest priority for the portfolio during term of Council.

TRC Water and Waste Committee Chair, Cr Rebecca Vonhoff said water is the most valuable and fought-over resource of the future.

“We have a responsibility to ensure water safety, quality and reliability both today and for people in our Region decades from now.

 “All of us have also been imprinted by drought. This term, I expect Council to look to the future of water in our Region,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“Longer term, decisions about the infrastructure that treats the water we drink and how we secure water for our population will need to be made.

“In the immediate future, finding a water security solution for Clifton, Vale View, Greenmount and Cambooya so that we’re no longing trucking water to these communities is a priority.

“We also need to work with Southern Downs Regional Council and the State Government to determine the need and feasibility of a southern pipeline.

Cr Vonhoff said water security, for our Region, is no simple fix. Our location at the top of the Great Dividing Range means we must generally move water uphill, and that’s expensive.

“No water flows to us – we move it from the East up from Wivenhoe, Cressbrook and Perseverance; and from the north from Cooby; and then we discharge it to the West into what eventually becomes the Murray Darling, or alternately we draw it up from bores.

“Across 13,000 km2, we have challenges associated with topography, water security and aging water infrastructure.”

TRC Water and Waste Committee Portfolio Leader, Cr Nancy Sommerfield said the provision of safe and secure water supply was one of Council’s top responsibilities.

“While the Wivenhoe pipeline provides a secure water supply for the medium term, Council is continuing to look at alternative options that could enhance the Region’s water security.

“With an increasing population, we understand the pipeline is only part of the answer to the Region’s long-term water security, and that is why over the previous term we’ve been working with all levels of government to look at alternative options for the future.

“The Toowoomba Region’s full drought status was declared on 1 March 2014 and all our neighbouring regions are in a similar boat.

“We’re not the only local government organisation in this position, and we all must work together to look for long-term solutions.

“Whether that be sharing catchments, building new pipelines, identifying dam sites or increasing the size of mandatory water tanks for residents, all options are on the table and we want the community to be a significant part of this discussion.

“Council would work with all levels of government and all other interested parties, including the private sector and irrigators across the Region.

“We need to get everyone on board to take this journey with us.

“We also need the community to continue conserving water where possible, with restrictions in place throughout the region.”

Cr Sommerfield said the Toowoomba Region is renowned for producing a high-quality product for the community.

“In recent years, water from our Region has received high accolades, including representing Australia at the International Water Tasting Awards,” Cr Sommerfield said.

“It is a tribute to our dedicated Council staff who work to produce this quality product for residents of the Toowoomba Region and this network specifically every day.

“A clean, sustainable water supply is vital for our health and one of the most important issues facing the region.”