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Drought-affected community gets first ever water supply connection

Residents of a small town in northern New South Wales (NSW) will have a potable water supply connected to their homes for the first time.

Biniguy, which has a population of about 240 people and is part of the drought-affected Moree Plains Shire, currently relies on bore water and rainwater tanks for its supply.

The $3.96 million Biniguy Potable Water Project will see water piped 11.5km from the Pallamallawa Water Supply to two 60kL reservoirs at Biniguy.

A reticulation system will then be installed throughout the village, including to the Biniguy Rural Fire Station.

The project will be fully funded by the NSW Government through the Restart NSW Water Security for Regions program, which aims to help regional communities improve water security and prepare for further drought conditions.

Moree Plains Shire Council (MPSC) Mayor Katrina Humphries said the project had received overwhelming support from the community.

“Not only do the residents want a secure supply of water, they need it urgently,” she said.

“There is literally no time like the present for Council to deliver this project … residents are seriously struggling with their current water supply due to drought conditions and poor-quality bore water.”

MPSC Acting Director of Engineering Graham Macpherson said residents had been forced to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking.

“Once they are connected to the town water supply, residents will have the best of both worlds – a safe, treated supply for use inside the home, and the flexibility to still use bore water elsewhere, including on gardens,” he said.

“The project has the ability to make a significant difference to the community of Biniguy, making residents’ lives a little easier and taking the stress out of property owners having to provide and maintain water infrastructure in drought times where water availability is at risk.”

Other Moree Plains Shire towns have received upgrades to their water supply through the Water Security for Regions program.

This includes a new 15km pipeline between Boggabilla and Toomelah, and the construction of a new water treatment plant at Boggabilla.

NSW Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said the pipeline was an important asset for residents who had long struggled with poor water quality and availability.

“This massive pipeline project will allow each township to draw upon water from the other, allowing reliable and high-quality water even when the Macintyre River is too low for decent flows,” he said.

“Rural residents must be able to trust their taps will deliver tasty water on demand, no matter how low river levels may become.”

The Biniguy Potable Water Project is set to be completed in early 2019.