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A potential pipeline could be delivering water to Queensland’s Southern Downs and Granite Belt by the end of 2020 as Warwick’s Leslie Dam inches towards its minimum operating capacity.

Experts have already nominated a likely route using existing road and rail corridors. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has inspected progress in Warwick and said that it meant one thing: delivering the pipeline faster.

“By using existing publicly owned land, there will be very little if any land acquisitions required thus streamlining the project,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The Premier announced a $1 million feasibility study for the project in November 2019. The feasibility study is expected to conclude in April.

Southern Downs Mayor, Tracey Dobie, said the Premier had stood by Warwick and Stanthorpe during one of the worst droughts in memory.

“The Premier said she wouldn’t let us run out of drinking water and she has been true to her word,” Ms Dobie said.

“We don’t want to go through another summer like this one again and the pipeline is just the most welcome news we have had in a long time.

“The only thing better would be more rain!”

Warwick’s Leslie Dam is down to less than 4.6 per cent capacity and without further inflows, it is estimated that Leslie Dam will reach its minimum operating volume in late 2020.
Stanthorpe’s Storm King Dam is down to 9.6 per cent (197ML). The dam’s full capacity is 2065ML.

The government is providing $800,000 a month to truck water into Stanthorpe.

The government has also joined the council with drought assistance measures, including:

– $13.6 million to kick start the new Emu Swamp Dam
– $3.939 million replacing pipelines between Storm King Dam and Mount Marley Water Treatment Plant
– $950,000 to the Southern Downs Regional Council to progress water security projects related to new and rejuvenated bores and fixing leaks in the reticulation system
– $600,000 in freight subsidies
– $300,000 in Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Assistance to 56 producers

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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