Agnes Water & Seventeen Seventy Integrated Water Project Agnes Water & Seventeen Seventy Integrated Water Project


Gladstone Regional Council has placed a high priority on providing solutions to limited water supplies in the former Miriam Vale Shire. Without a dedicated water supply solution, the progression of this area would be significantly hindered which would have serious consequences for development, tourism, employment and lifestyle for our local residents.

A number of solutions were given significant consideration to meet the needs of a growing community in the Agnes Water – Seventeen Seventy area. The consequences of each solution in terms of environmental impact and financial viability were explored extensively.

Desalination, together with Wastewater Treatment, was the best solution in this case and was adopted by Council as part of the Shire’s Integrated Water Strategy.

This strategy comprise of four projects:

  1. A Desalination Plant to provide a reliable water supply for Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy;
  2. A Reticulated Water Scheme for Seventeen Seventy;
  3. A Low Pressure Sewerage Scheme for Seventeen Seventy; and
  4. A Wastewater Treatment Scheme with beneficial reuse.

Background Information

Water resources within the environs of the Agnes Water - Seventeen Seventy conurbation are severely limited. Historically, water supplies for the conurbation have been sourced primarily from the area’s limited groundwater supplies extracted from the coastal dunal system and rain water.
Currently groundwater is extracted from Council bores, treated and reticulated for potable use and from a number of private bores many of which are used for external household use.

Potable water consumption within Agnes Water and the Seventeen Seventy is low by regional standards and it is Council’s intention to continue to ensure that the current low pattern of consumption is maintained by encouraging and implementing appropriate demand management strategies.

To ensure the long term sustainability of the area’s water resources Miriam Vale Shire Council considered construction of two major projects:

  1. A sea water desalination plant to supplement the existing groundwater supplies; and
  2. A water recycling plant involving sewer mining a portion of the existing sewage flow from the conurbation, treatment of the effluent to Class A using membrane technology and the recycling of the product to appropriate irrigation projects and/or the injection of the product to groundwater. This latter project was considered to have the benefits of sustaining the groundwater resource and circumventing the need to increase the capacity of the existing sewage treatment facility, which is some considerable distance from the urban area and too remote to readily allow the recycling of water to the existing or future urban area.

Implementation of these projects were to be undertaken on the basis that residents and visitors to the site of Captain Cook’s landing are made fully aware of:

  • the importance of the projects to the conservation of the area’s water resources; and
  • the benefits that can be achieved from recycling of water which is currently essentially lost to the community and conurbation’s natural environment.
  • Without additional water resources and improved use of all existing water resources, including recycled water, there is a danger that the area’s limited groundwater supplies will be over exploited to the extent that the area’s fragile environment, and especially flora, will be irretrievably harmed.

The Agnes Water - Seventeen Seventy conurbation has a particular advantage in relation to firmly establishing a regime of careful, controlled water use associated with both projects. This advantage is the existing population’s long history of conserving the areas limited water resources.

Please find below links to documentation detailing Council’s decision and relevant reports and information sheets on both Desalination and Wastewater Treatment Schemes, plus latest news and archived media releases.


TRILITY (formerly UUA) has the contract to construct the Agnes Water Seventeen Seventy Integrated Water Project to provide new infrastructure for the towns of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, including a new waste water treatment facility and a desalination plant.

Latest News

Offshore work on the desalination plant at Chinaman's Beach at Agnes Water resumed early in March 2011 following the completion of the turtle nesting season.

With the desalination plant components having already arrived on the back of nine semitrailers, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) for the offshore installation of intake and discharge pipes resumed from where it left off at the start of the turtle season last October.

The offshore drilling is the next stage in the project following the completion of the Seventeen Seventy water and sewerage pipe installations.

In terms of the plant itself, the foundation works of the plant are now completed and the desalination plant, process tanks and process pumps have been installed.

Mechanical and piping works are progressing and electrical works commenced in early July 2011.

The Seventeen Seventy water and sewerage component of the project is continuing with the network completed.

The construction of the reservoir commenced in mid-July. 

The Agnes Water/Seventeen Seventy Integrated Water Project schedule has been extended until April 2012 due to delays caused by wet weather during summer of 2010-11.

Media Releases

  • 25 October 2010 - A consortium led by Mitsubishi become shareholders of UUA (view)
  • 29 Sept 2010 - Agnes Water desalination plant offshore works close for nesting season (view)
  • 10 May 2010 - Beach drilling begins on Agnes Integrated Water Project (view)
  • 23 March 2010 - Vital water and sewerage works begin in Seventeen Seventy (view)
  • 05 March 2010 - Integrated Water Project enters stage two of construction (view)
  • 21 January 2010 - Agnes Water Integrated Project commences initial work (view)
  • 04 December 2009 - Council approves initial works for Integrated Water Project (view)
  • 13 August 2009 - Desalination project on track for October start (view)
  • 26 June 2009 - Tannum High students visit Agnes on fact-finding mission (view)
  • 06 May 2009 - Water project to create jobs, but details in the pipeline (view)
  • 24 October 2008 - Mayor slates Messenger 'scaremongering' over water (view)
  • 14 May 2008 - Council Searches For Alternative Water Solution (view)


Fact Sheets

  • Seventeen Seventy Water Sewerage Reticulation (view)
  • Seventeen Seventy Water Storage Facility (view)
  • Desalination - Agnes Water/Seventeen Seventy Integrated Water Project (view)
  • Fact Sheet 1: About Desalination (view)
  • Fact Sheet 2: History of Desalination (view)
  • Fact Sheet 3: Water Reuse (view)
  • Fact Sheet 4: Water Timeline (view)
  • Fact Sheet 5: Desalination FAQ (view)


  • Miriam Vale Shire Council Water & Sewerage Planning Report, July 2005 veiw
  • Cardno Supply Desalination Planning Report view
  • Cardno Sewerage Treatment Report view
  • Agnes Water & Town of 1770 Integrated Water Management Strategy view
  • Cardno Report view
  • DPR Cardno Report view
  • IWMS Cardno Report view
  • Cardno Water Supply Reticulation Planning Report, Feb 2006 view
  • Agnes Benaraby Pipeline Report Cardno, June 2006 view
  • GHD view
  • 1770 Sewerage Scheme Pressure Sewerage System, December 2005 view
  • Peer Review from John Chappell view
  • Burns Bridge Report view

PowerPoint Presentations

  • 8 April 2008 (9.78MB PPT) view
  • 3 July 2008 (78KB PPT) view
  • Agnes Water Desalination Presentation (Thorogood) (718KB PPT) view
  • Agnes Water/1770 Integrated Water Project (72KB PPT) view
  • 1770/Agnes Water Integrated Water Contract Requirements (554KB PPT) view
  • Agnes Water/1770 Integrated Water Project (United Utilities) (6.15MB PPT) view

Fact Sheets

  • Trility Australia Fact Sheet on the Agnes Water Seventeen Seventy Integrated Water Project view