Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, met recently with key stakeholders from Central Tablelands Water (CTW) to discuss water security priorities for the Central West Region.
The meeting was attended by Mr Gee, Chair of CTW - Cr David Somervaille, General Manager – Gavin Rhodes, Director Operational and Technical Services - Noel Wellham, and Mayor of Blayney Council - Cr Scott Ferguson.
Various options discussed during the meeting included: raising the Lake Rowlands Dam wall to increase the capacity by four gigalitres; construction of a pipeline between Carcoar Dam and Lake Rowlands and also a new dam wall at Lake Rowlands approximately 2.5 kilometres downstream.
Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, said that in the short term “there are tremendous potential benefits of a pipeline connecting Lake Rowlands Dam to Carcoar Dam, along with the ability to capture the additional stored water and move it within the network as a result of a raised dam wall.”
Noel Wellham, Director Operational and Technical Services, CTW, said that “the raising of the wall is a six month project at an estimated cost of $10 million and would give short term relief to current water shortages through the next two droughts, capturing three to four times the volume of water which goes over the spillway during the typical drought-breaking rain events. Construction of a new dam wall is a longer term project at an estimated cost of $70 million.”
“We want to be able to harvest the water when it eventually rains and have the capacity to transfer it across to Carcoar Dam to maximise the amount of water which is stored,” said Mr Wellham.
Mr Gee said the projects had been well-researched and the impending launch of the new National Water Grid - the Australian Government’s new $100 million agency which was tasked with prioritising water projects around the country - meant the time was right for all levels of government to be identifying who could build what and how they would be paid for.
“I have already had a preliminary discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister about Lake Rowlands and the next step is to get the CTW Chair Cr David Somervaille and Executive Management down to Canberra to provide more detail and see if we can get something going.”
“There is a real opportunity here to get some of these key water projects moving and we need to be in the best position to take advantage of it. That’s what we’re working on.”
Caption: Andrew is pictured with Scott Ferguson, David Somervaille, Gavin Rhodes and Noel Wellham at the recent meeting
MEDIA: Trease Clarke, Assistant Ministerial Adviser – 0409 741 789