A petition, calling for a water pipeline between Malpas Dam and Guyra, is set to be tabled in state parliament next week.
The current plan shows that over the past 10 years, annual demand has been around 423 mega litres – with 39 per cent of the yield going to the tomato farm, however, safe yield of the Guyra Dams has been estimated to be only 277 mega litres per year.
In early August, Mr Marshall met with Deputy Premier John Barilaro last week to present Armidale Regional Council’s business plan for the pipeline.
“This is to address significant water shortage and water quality issues that the community has been experiencing for the last few years,” Mr Marshall said then.
“At the same time it’s been experiencing huge growth in terms of the tomato farm and residential growth.”
He said when the water supply drops low, so does the quality.
Watch Mr Marshall launch the petition in August:
Armidale Regional Council has previously stated there is an unacceptable risk of running out of water during drought conditions.
Drought and lack of water can have substantial economic and public health consequences for communities. Further more there is currently no available water to promote economic development in the Guyra region including further development of the horticultural industry which is vital for our region’s future.
The council, supported by a number of the state’s water experts has investigated potential options to provide water security to Guyra. Aside from the pipeline, the other options included raising the dam wall in Guyra, construction of an off-stream storage and effluent reuse from the sewage treatment plant.
The investigation undertaken by the NSW Department of Public Works and the expert water advisory firm WREMA found that based on historical demand and rainfall records raising the dam would fall well short of water supply capacity required to secure Guyra long term water needs.
Armidale Regional Council CEO Peter Dennis said the evidence presented by experts in the field of water security pointed to a direct connection via a pipeline from Malpas Dam to Guyra as the most effective long term option to secure the region’s water supply.
“Based on the expert work to date, raising the dam wall would not provide long -term confidence for further residential growth in Guyra and would effectively cap any further economic growth particularly in terms of horticultural investment,” Mr Dennis said.
“A direct connection from Malpas Dam to the Guyra Water Treatment Plant was found to be the only feasible option to obtain secure future yield for residents under current growth projections while also providing the security for future economic growth. A pipeline is the best long term option for both water security and economic growth.”