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The Queensland Government has announced that the draft Tablelands Regional Water Assessment is now open for public comment, following expert analysis and consultation with industry representatives.

The community is encouraged to have their say on future water supply options in the region as part of the development of the Tablelands Regional Water Assessment.

Regional Water Assessments set out how existing infrastructure, new infrastructure and non‑infrastructure solutions can help maximise water supply and drive economic growth.

The draft Tablelands Regional Water Assessment has identified future water options on the Tablelands, including:

  • Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme Efficiency Improvement Project stage two – proceed to a detailed business case
  • Releasing unallocated water from reserves that have been identified in regional water plans
  • Lake Mitchell to the Barron River pipeline – proceed to a detailed business case, subject to conditions and compatibility requirements
  • Johnstone River to Tinaroo Falls Dam Pipeline – proceed to a detailed business case, subject to conditions and compatibility requirements

The Tablelands Regional Water Assessment area spans from the Tablelands Regional Council area, through to eastern parts of the Mareeba Shire Council, and the western part of Cairns Regional Council.

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said, “The Queensland Government has a strong history of supporting water infrastructure investment and this is further evidence of our commitment to water security, supporting regional economic development and the jobs that come with it.

“The draft Regional Water Assessment is an important step to identify future projects to better use our water resources on the Tablelands.

“I encourage everyone to have their say on the future water options proposed in the draft Regional Water Assessment.

“I want to thank mayors, councillors, industry and peak body representatives, Traditional Owners, and independent experts for their ongoing commitment to this process.”

Queensland Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said, “Water is critical to communities, and I welcome the draft Tablelands Regional Water Assessment that, when finalised, will drive better and sustainable use of our precious water resources.

“I look forward to seeing more investment into future water security as this process pushes ahead.

“The Mareeba Dimbulah Efficiency Improvement Project reminds us we don’t need to build new dams to get new water, in this case improvements to existing infrastructure resulted in more than 8,000 megalitres of additional water.”

Public consultation details will be available on the DRDMW website.

The Tablelands Regional Water Assessment began in late 2021 and since its inception there has been expert analysis and consultation with stakeholders.

Regional water assessments are also being conducted in the Southern and Darling Downs, Bundaberg, Burnett and the Burdekin regions..

Once complete, the Tablelands Regional Water Assessment will be considered by the Queensland Government.

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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