Maranoa Council to vote on critical Surat water supply measures
MARANOA Regional Council fears that they won’t be able to afford critical renewal projects for Surat’s water supply in five years time if it doesn’t receive external funding.
A 10-year water supply strategy, written in April 2020, is going to vote in an ordinary council meeting tomorrow, October 28.
This strategy hopes to resolve the issues of water overdrawing from the Balonne River, tower reservoir damage, ageing equipment, and below standard hydrant spacing.
One solution that has been floated includes a new bore for Surat, to provide a second water supply if the Balonne River is ever too low to service the town.
Other projects on the table include water main renewals, level sensors for reservoirs, booster pumps, dosing pumps (chlorine, potassium, flocculant), and a sand filtration tank.
The council is also considering lodging an application for thousands of dollars worth of funds to help with Surat’s drought resilience.
The council plans on applying for the Federal Government’s Future Drought Fund: Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program, which could deliver $200,000 into the council’s hands.
The grant aims to support primary producer’s capacity to prepare for and respond to climate change and droughts, according to the community grants website.
The council plans on using this grant, if successful, towards raw water conservation in Surat.
An extra $50,000 will need to go towards the program, paid by the council, out of the Water Reserve.
As there have been concerns about the water levels in the Balonne River since at least 2019, the installation of raw water meters could encourage residents to use the Balonne’s water supply thoughtfully.
In January 2018, the council voted to distribute ‘water usage’ publications to residents and install automated valving to switch the raw water supply from one side of town to the other, based on watering restriction times.
The council will also vote tomorrow whether to apply for the $200,000 grant and authorise $50,000 to be spent in this financial year’s budget.