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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Damned dam decisions

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As a Community Consultation Group (CWG) member on Tweed’s water options, I commend the councillors who supported the moratorium of 20 years on Byrrill Creek dam.

The vast majority of CWG members requested an independent review that relooked at:

  • firstly, the justifications for the need for additional water supply by 2036, particularly population growth and water consumption on which this whole debate of the dams rests;
  • secondly the need to evaluate the potential for additional water-saving measures such as stormwater harvesting, recycled water and mandatory rainwater tanks before committing to the raising of Clarrie Hall Dam.

An independent review of the council’s Integrated Water Management Cycle is already in process right now to examine these issues and the draft will be completed by the end of the year. Council decisions on the dams should rightly include the findings in this review.

There is overwhelming support by the Tweed community for addressing our water issues, firstly by implementing extensive water saving in new developments (such as Cobaki and Kings Forest). Some 2,200 signatures on petitions to Tweed Shire Council asked for this, the majority of submissions to council on water augmentation asked for this, the CWG group did, the farmers supported dual reticulation – but to no avail.

In Sydney, Rouse Hill Urban Recycled Water Scheme has reduced demand for drinking water by 40 per cent and Olympic Park WRAMS scheme has reduced demand by 50 per cent. Why is the Tweed not doing so? And why is the choice of a dam the council’s only solution?

With an impasse on the Clarrie Hall Dam again, it’s high time for the Tweed Council to embrace sustainable solutions for our future.

Joanna Gardner, Uki

 


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