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March 6, 2021

Take a virtual tour of the proposed Dunoon Dam

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Rous County Council (RCC), in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have developed a flyover virtual 3D landscape model of our catchment to assist the community to visually understand our current and proposed water supply assets in relation to the Future Water Project 2060 proposal.

There has been lots of debate over the efficacy of building the proposed Dunoon Dam to supply the ever increasing population of the Northern Rivers with water.

Rous County Council is the organisation that is responsible for ensuring that there is enough water available to supply the current and future population. With no current limits on growth across the region and the impacts of the last drought they have proposed that the Dunoon dam be built to secure future water supply.

Online self-guided tours

To help the community understand the proposed dams impacts Rous County Council this week launched an online interactive tool that ‘allows residents to fly a virtual drone over the region’s future bulk water supply system’.

Rous County Council Chairperson Keith Williams said the interactive ‘map journal’ is the first of its kind for the region.

‘This innovative tool presents the story behind Council’s proposed future water project using real satellite maps and detailed graphics that our community can easily navigate to explore project areas and other crucial information more closely,’ Councillor Williams said.

‘From the location of the proposed Dunoon Dam through to sites that formed part of our groundwater, recycled water and desalination investigations, with the click of a button residents can take a 360-degree, step-by-step tour of all the new water source options we’ve looked at.’

Currently on exhibition

The proposed Future Water Project 2060 is currently on public exhibition until Wednesday, 12 August 2020. The proposal’s preferred option involves two key actions:

  1. Upgrading the existing Marom Creek Water Treatment Plant near Wollongbar and utilising the Alstonville underground aquifer’s existing groundwater infrastructure to meet short-to-medium term water demand; and
  2. Ultimately, constructing the new Dunoon Dam with a storage capacity of 50 gigalitres to meet long-term water demand through to 2060 and beyond.

‘Our new online tool provides the perfect complement to the range of public information resources we’ve already deployed as part of the proposed project’s public exhibition period,’ Rous County Council’s general manager Phillip Rudd added.

‘Now that it’s up and running, we’re confident the virtual catchment tool will give residents a unique way to better understand what our bulk water supply could look like over the next 40 years.’

More stories about the Dunoon Dam

Rescission motion fails, but Dunoon Dam not dead

Yesterday's meeting of the Rous County Council saw the rescission motion go down 5:3 after another passionate debate, but Cr Sharon Cadwallader said she remained determined to keep the Dunoon Dam as an option for the future water supply of the Northern Rivers.


WATER Northern Rivers and the BES oppose dam rescission motion

Both WATER Northern Rivers and the Ballina Environment Society have expressed their opposition to the rescission motion proposed for Rous County Council in regards to the Dunoon Dam.


Could new dam become another Rio Tinto disaster?

Widjabul Wia-bal traditional custodians are deeply concerned about a motion proposed for Rous County Council’s next meeting, which would overturn their decision to cease all work on the Dunoon Dam, rezone the land and begin the disposal of Rocky Creek properties.


Cr Ekins wants to share her love of Lismore

In our final story about some of the contenders to be Lismore's next mayor, the shire's longest-serving councillor, Vanessa Ekins, talks about her connections with the area, and hopes for Lismore's future.


Ballina changes tack on Dunoon Dam

On the same day that it voted to write to the Prime Minister to change the date of Australia Day, Ballina Council has decided to reopen the Dunoon Dam debate, even though the project was stopped primarily on indigenous heritage grounds.


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  1. The environment cannot sustainably support more dams anywhere. Government, meaning the people we elect to govern, needs to make sure every new and existing building structure has rain water collection, distribution and grey water use for food production and compost toilets. Tweed Valley’s aquifers are being mined and on a global scale the world has entered a time of water wars now the head waters of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia are being dammed.

    The knowledge and understanding is there to make life on this planet a beautiful experience. The human population is unfortunately stuck with governments and institutions that refuse to move beyond the old ways of engineering the environment without a care for the long term consequences for all living things. May all beings be happy and smile at the impermanence of this present situation. It will change one way or the other.

  2. Congratulations. A belated but very good idea.
    As the Rous consumers grow so does the supply obviously. The extraction from the river works in a minor drought as was seen last year however as the river flow decreases so must the extraction.
    There is nothing like a storage facility to guarantee supply and yes there will be detractors but we need to make decisions for the greater good.
    I would suggest that we stock our dams and restrict usage/ fishing to electric motors or man power to avoid pollution and better utilise our resource. This would attract tourists/ fisher persons and therefore bring much needed money to our region


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