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; a Desalination Plant to provide a reliable water supply for Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, a Reticulated Water and Low Pressure Sewerage Scheme for Seventeen Seventy, and a Wastewater Treatment Scheme with beneficial reuse.
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 is considering construction of two major projects. These are:
- A sea water desalination plant to supplement the existing groundwater supplies; and
- 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 will 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 will 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.
- Agnes Water Integrated Project commences initial works (32KB PDF) Issued: 21 January 2010