BACK WHEN IT RAINED: Water over the spillway at Lake Macdonald in the big wet of 2010.
BACK WHEN IT RAINED: Water over the spillway at Lake Macdonald in the big wet of 2010.

Where will water come from?

THOSE connected to town water in Noosa Shire are used to turning on the tap and having water flow.

But one of our primary water sources - Lake Macdonald Dam - will be close to empty mid next year to enable work on the spillway to commence.

So the focus will turn to the Mary River.

“We currently source the water from the Mary River and Lake Macdonald in equal proportions,” an Seqwater spokesman said.

“The plant will not use water from Lake Macdonald while the water level is temporarily lowered.

“During construction, the Noosa Water Treatment Plant will continue to operate using water from the Mary River.”

However, if the storm season doesn’t deliver through the summer and the big dry continues into next year, the Mary might be reduced to a trickle.

Noosa News asked water manager Seqwater about what plans are in place for such a scenario.

“Seqwater undertakes long-term demand and supply modelling based on many scenarios, which allows us to manage supply efficiently,” a spokesman said.

Supply would also be significantly supplemented from other dams such as North Pine in Brisbane using the SEQ Water Grid — a network of two-way bulk water pipelines that allow water to be moved as required around the region, he said.

In fact, without our ability to push water north in this way, Seqwater would not be able to undertake the dam upgrade project.

“This will also take pressure off drawing water from Mary River should river levels drop too low,” he said.

“The Mary River is also a source of water supply for irrigators and the Gympie and Imbil water supply schemes.

“Seqwater control the releases from Borumba Dam, which feeds into Mary River via Yabba Creek.

“Borumba Dam’s water supply level is currently 92 per cent (42,300 million litres).

“Noosa WTP averaged 7 Megalitres/day during 2018-19 and approximately half of the water was sourced from the Mary being 1300ML or 3 per cent of the current storage volume.

“Noosa also imported on average 9.9ML/day from the grid during 2018-19 and this is expected to increase during the project.”