The Townsville City Council in Queensland has allocated $5.5 million in the City Budget for the purchase and pumping of 20,000ML of water, the equivalent of five months of continual supply, from the Burdekin to guarantee Townsville’s water supply.

Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill, said the recent funding guarantees from both the Queensland Government and LNP Opposition to fully fund the infrastructure to solve Townsville’s water security solution would save a huge additional capital cost.

“The funding guarantee takes a huge pressure off council in terms of potential capital costs and vindicates the work we have done through the Water Taskforce to make water security a priority for government,” Ms Hill said.

“That means our big focus in the Budget is on making sure the city has a guaranteed water to take us into next year should the drought continue.

“The budget will fund five months of pumping that combined with reserves in the dams and level three water restrictions, will secure the city’s water supply well into next year even without rain.

“While we were only required to pump for around three months this year, we’re making sure we have a plan in place that covers every contingency for our community.

“Pumping water to Townsville comes at a substantial cost, but the savings and efficiencies we are achieving right across council means we are able to absorb those costs without having to pass them on to ratepayers.

“We will also be working with the community on a range of water conservation measures and incentives to make our water stretch further.

“We look forward to Water Taskforce interim report due on June 30 and looking at the recommendations.”

With the level of the Ross Dam at just over 21 per cent, the council expects to hit the pumping trigger of 15 per cent possibly by late October 2017.

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