COUNCIL is poised to spend big as it looks to make progress on securing the future water supply for a small community near Gunnedah.
The Curlewis Pipeline Project has been in the works for some time, but Gunnedah Shire Council might finally make a move on the water scheme, which “has been in limbo for the past few years”.
Councillors will consider spending $130,000 on a concept design for the pipeline project at their ordinary general meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Early estimates have the water project costed at $5.2 million, with a “15.8-kilometre pipeline from the Gunnedah town supply and includes two storage reservoirs and a disinfection dosing station”, according to a report to be considered by councillors.
Funding for the project has been included in long-term financial plans, but it will still need significant funding commitments from the state and federal governments.
Council has already applied for federal money under the “Building Better Regions Fund”, but the project being “shovel-ready” is an “essential requirement” for the success of the application.
“Unfortunately, there have not been any funds allocated in the 2016/17 Operation Plan for such a project,” the report to council said.
Issues with the Curlewis supply were identified as far back as 2011, when consultants GHD provided a water security assessment.
Future capacity shortfalls, the reliability of current infrastructure, supply security relying on a single groundwater supply and climate change were all identified as key risks by GHD.
The project, which has an estimated cost of $5.2 million, will involve the installation of a 15.8-kilometre pipeline- Curlewis Pipeline Project
The funding would be allocated from the Curlewis Water Supply Restricted Asset.
A number of alternatives were looked at for a more secure Curlewis water supply including better groundwater sources and the use of individual household tanks, but the 15km pipeline from Gunnedah was seen as the best option.