This issues of water and how and from where we access it, is becoming increasingly distressing for many on the Far North Coast – it is becoming one of the most contentious subjects between the community and all levels of governance.
The diverse water options featured in the newly released draft Far North Coast Water Strategy have been welcomed by local water conservation group WATER Northern Rivers Alliance, which was formed in the response to the proposed Dunoon Dam at The Channon, say they welcome the diverse water supply options featured in the Far North Coast Water Strategy released by the NSW Government on Friday.
Smart water options for the region
WATER Northern Rivers is an alliance of groups and citizens who want smart water options for the region and spokesperson Annie Kia said the group are pleased to see a list of diverse options, not all of which will be progressed.
‘We have been very concerned about the narrow focus of Rous County Council Future Water Strategy 2060, which has ignored many of the modern solutions available that, when combined in a mixed portfolio, help create a resilient and drought-proof water system.’
Ms Kia said the broad-options approach in the draft strategy is exactly in line with the recommendations of Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) in their document All Options on the Table. ‘The WSAA recommends a suite of diverse options and strong water efficiency measures. In particular, they note that new dams, being rainfall-dependent, do not provide drought-resilience.
Water sources independent of rainfall
‘If new supply is needed, it’s advantageous if these sources are independent of rainfall, such as water re-use and desalination. Dr Stuart Khan recently echoed this when asked about the Rous Future Water Strategy, noting that a drought-resilient system would have 30-50% of its water coming from sources not dependent on rain.’
The group has also welcomed other initiatives within the strategy, supporting Aboriginal rights and a focus on improving the health of the Richmond and Tweed Rivers.
‘WATER Northern Rivers is ready to assist the development of this new vision of water supply in our region,’ said Ms Kia. ‘We look forward to the public consultation process empowering our community.’