Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will begin discussions over long-term options to enhance water security in Toowoomba and the surrounding regions.
In doing this, TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said 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,” he said.
“The Toowoomba Region’s full drought status was declared on 1 March 2014 and all our neighbouring regions are in a similar boat.
“The severity of the current drought is reflected in the region’s low dam levels and stressed groundwater supplies.
“Whilst Cr Sommerfield and I have been working with both the State and Federal Governments on our long-term security, now is the time to have serious conversations with the surrounding regions and all levels of government to ensure we are working together for long-term water security.
“In addition to this, it’s important for Council to consider how the community and other stakeholders can provide feedback about future water security alternatives for the region and more efficient use of water in all areas of use.”
Whilst the Wivenhoe pipeline provides a secure water supply for the medium term, TRC Water and Waste Committee Chair Cr Nancy Sommerfield said Council was 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 we’ve been working with all levels of government to look at alternative options for the future,” she said.
“We’re not the only local government organisation in this position and it’s crucial we all 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 major part of this discussion.
“We also need the community to continue conserving water where possible, with restrictions in place throughout the region. These restrictions are currently being reviewed as tougher restrictions and enforcement actions may be needed if conditions don’t improve.”