Armidale Regional Council has received $500,000 of funding from the NSW Government to assist with groundwater exploratory drilling.

The testing of bores is to provide emergency water to supplement existing water supplies if and when it is ever required.

A total of 29 test bores have been drilled across Armidale and Guyra with limited success, particularly in the Armidale area. In many instances across Armidale, yields have not been enough to warrant the high cost of building the additional infrastructure to connect into the potable network. In Guyra however, two sites have yielded excellent supply and are considered appropriate to connect subject to health tests and meeting approval for a Water Access licence.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor, Simon Murray, said further analysis is required to determine whether the lower yielding test bores in Armidale can be funded by Council at this time.

“Council’s water fund does have reserves but the drought has placed a significant financial burden on those funds,” Mr Murray said.

“A commitment of $5.77 million from the water fund for the upgrade of the Puddledock Dam pipeline, costs already incurred for exploratory groundwater drilling and the additional costs of managing this drought have not been planned for.

“Having adequate reserves in the water fund are critical to ensure Council can manage its water infrastructure for the community in the long term, particularly if we have to deal with a water infrastructure failure.”

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