Townsville Water Security, Supply and Use Strategy

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Commitment

Appoint an intergovernmental taskforce to investigate short, medium and long-term solutions to water security for Townsville, considering investment in water supply infrastructure and management of demand.

The Taskforce will build on existing studies and research to identify a series of preferred options to improve Townsville’s water security. These will include options to improve the security of water supply and amend water service standards and pricing. This will be complemented by local water efficiency programs and new technologies that will support Townsville residents and businesses to save water.

The approach will ensure a sustainable, secure long-term water supply for Townsville and increase the region’s capacity to support future population and industry growth.

Responsibilities

Collaboration between Townsville City Council, the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.

Progress to Date

The Townsville Water Security Taskforce delivered its Final Report on 30 October 2018. The Final Report endorsed the recommendations of the Interim Report and noted that bringing forward Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline may save an estimated $55 million in capital costs if Stage 2 were to be delivered concurrently with Stage 1.

The Final Report also concluded that progressing either the Hells Gate Dam or the Burdekin Falls Dam Raising projects in the longer term, subject to outcomes of business cases and environmental approvals, would be consistent with the Taskforce's strategy for underpinning Townsville's long-term bulk water supply.

On 4 November 2018, the Australian Government committed up to $5 million for a business case for Stage 2 and up to $195 million to fully fund Stage 2 subject to the findings of the business case. The business case will, amongst other things, assess whether the estimated cost savings identified by the Final Report are realistic and achievable.

The Taskforce has now completed its work as described in the Terms of Reference.

Next Steps

Implementation work on projects and recommendations will continue to be led by Townsville City Council, in conjunction with support from the Australian and Queensland Governments.

Townsville City Council is progressing delivery of its three-point water security solution with $225 million funding support from the Queensland Government. All three projects are on track for delivery.

Q1 2019: Australian Government will finalise the procurement to deliver a business case for Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline

Q1 2019: Implementation of the Water Smart Package

Q4 2019: Completion of Stage 1 of the Haughton Pipeline Project

Q2 2020: Completion of the water recycling and re-use scheme