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Long-term drought relief flows to Toowoomba

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) is on track to deliver its water supply target thanks to the Wivenhoe Pipeline, which began operating on 1 April last year.

TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said the pipeline has pumped more than 12,000 ML of water to the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply.

“The pipeline has been a blessing for our region, allowing us to preserve our water supply during this ongoing drought,” he said.

“If we didn’t have this additional source of water, our region would be in a much more dire situation.”

Along with providing drought relief for the community, the pipeline has also eased pressure on nearby dams and helped ensure the region has a sustainable water supply.

“Despite the dry conditions, pumping from Wivenhoe has helped plateau dam levels, which had been declining over the past decade,” Antonio said.

“While the allocation we receive from Wivenhoe hasn’t fully replenished our dam levels, it has assisted the region in meeting a growing demand for a clean water supply.”

Toowoomba’s water security concerns have been an ongoing struggle, and Antonio said that while the water supply offers some relief, the council will continue to work to provide a higher level of sustainability.

“There is no doubt that without the pipeline, our water supply would have been pushed to the limit during this drought,” he said. 

“It’s given water security to the region in a time when we needed it most and will continue to do so for many years to come.

“In addition to this, we need to continue working with both the state and federal governments and all other interested parties, including the private sector and irrigators across the region, on our long-term water security planning.”

The pipeline is part of TRC’s water storage plan, with Wivenhoe Dam acting as a fourth dam to supplement the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply.

“This piece of infrastructure has allowed us to plan for dry conditions better and ensure water sustainability well into the future,” Antonio said.

“This puts us in a position to better manage a growing population as we’re able to continue to provide a clean, safe water supply to residents.”

Water restrictions remain in place for residents connected to the Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply, with winter garden watering restrictions now in place.