Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has written to the Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Gary Nairn, State Member for Monaro, Steve Whan, and the Mayor of Queanbeyan, Frank Pangallo, to seek their ideas and cooperation on cross-border options to secure the water supply of the ACT and those areas of NSW which rely on the ACT for their water.
Mr Stanhope said the ACT Government and ACTEW are examining a range of water security options, including pumping from the Murrumbidgee River at Angle Crossing and obtaining water from Tantangara Dam in addition to ACTEW’s proposal to purify water and enlarge the Cotter Dam.
“These options will require NSW planning approvals and the cooperation of community leaders in the ACT region if they are to be implemented,” Mr Stanhope said.
“The ACT Government is further exploring the extraction of water from the Murrumbidgee River at Angle Crossing and piping it to the Googong reservoir. Another option involves releasing water from Tantangara reservoir, which would flow into the ACT and be captured at Angle Crossing or at the Cotter.
“Although these options rely on rainfall, combined they could provide up to 20 gigalitres a year, or almost a third of the total annual water use in the ACT region.
“The Angle Crossing option has already been well-developed by ACTEW as part of the Future Water Options project with other elements of Future Water Options, such as the Cotter-to-Googong Bulk Transfer project having already been implemented.
“These options could help secure not only Canberra’s water supply, but also the water supplies of those areas in NSW provided by the ACT.
“As this is a regional problem, it requires a regional, cooperative and cross-border response. I look forward to working with Mr Whan, Mr Pangallo, Mr Nairn and others to secure our regional water future,” Mr Stanhope said
Mr Stanhope said the ACT Labor Government and ACTEW continue to deliver projects to secure the ACT and region’s water supply including major enhancements to the Stromlo and Googong Water Treatment Plants, the extraction of water from the Cotter Dam, the installation of submersible pumps in the Murrumbidgee River and investing in a $17 million stormwater harvesting project.
“Additionally, ACTEW has just completed a 3 month community consultation on their Water2WATER purification proposal which could provide Canberra with a water source which is not reliant on uncertain future rainfall patterns,” he said.
“ACTEW’s consultation drew a strong response from the Canberra community. The ACT Government is keen to see the results of that process and hear ACTEW’s advice in relation to the proposal and a number of other options for improving our water security.
“The Government will consider ACTEW’s advice, along with the advice of the Government-appointed Expert Panel on Health and the Water Security Taskforce. Along with the health implications the ACT Government will also consider the environmental impacts, the financial implications and the greenhouse impact.
“Our continued exploration of water security options on top of those measures already delivered demonstrates the ACT Labor Government’s determination to ensure we have the water required to continue to grow our regional economy and maintain Canberra as a sustainable and beautiful city in which to live,” Mr Stanhope said.
Media Contact: Penelope Layland 6205 9777 0438 289 714 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Kindermann 6205 1690