Mayor makes major Mount Morgan water announcement
Rockhampton region Mayor Tony Williams has made a major announcement about the water supply for Mount Morgan as the water level of the No. 7 dam drops dangerously low.
There has also been a drop in the quality of water in the dam, so the council will now send 20 trucks per day from Gracemere to Mount Morgan via Razorback Road.
This is up from the previous five to six trucks that were visiting the township daily.
Water has been trucked there since the start of a trial on March 3, 2021, with the town on water restrictions since September 2019.
Cr Williams on Friday said the dam level was at 8.6 per cent, and Level 6 water restrictions meant each person was limited to 160L of water per day.
“As the water levels continue to drop, we’ll continue to look at increasing the capacity of the reservoirs,” he said.
The council is hesitant to turn off the dam’s machinery when the trucks arrive, however, to avoid any problems.
Cr Williams said the total cost of the trucking was estimated at $200,000, with a $3000 to $5000 spend daily.
“What we’re doing is seeking State Government assistance with that, not dissimilar to what’s happened in Stanthorpe where they were taking water to that community for the past 18 months,” Cr Williams said.
A community meeting is being held on Tuesday night, April 13, for concerned residents to discuss possible solutions to Mount Morgan’s water woes, but it’s currently all booked out.
The council hasn’t ruled out hosting another meeting in the future if needed.
“We understand that transporting water is not a long-term solution, but it is part of the management plan at the moment,” Cr Williams said.
“We do need a longer term solution and that is part of this process.”
They’ll discuss all the options and consider the costs during this public meeting.
Some of these options could include more dams, a Fletcher Creek water supply, and the popularly campaigned for pipeline.
“We’ve got to look at what’s best cost-wise and how the community could afford that water going forward,” Cr Williams said.
He said the dam water was still safe to drink though, with the water being odoured and discoloured due to a magnesium build-up.
Water and environment councillor Donna Kirkland said there would be no change to how Mount Morgan residents accessed their water.
“We knew this would be a possibility if there was no significant rainfall, so over a month ago we carried out trials to fine tune the arrangements and logistics of trucking the water up to ensure that we were ready to go,” Cr Kirkland said.
“There’s no need for Gracemere residents to worry about their supply; we’ll be sending extra water that way if required.”
The water will be disinfected after making the journey to Mount Morgan, to make sure the water quality is still good and the aesthetics are acceptable to the community.
She said the town of about 3000 residents could experience future growth if the water issues were sorted out.
“If we have a sustainable water supply, we could anticipate certain growth to that community,” Cr Kirkland said.
“What that would look like, right now, I’m not going to speculate on.
“I have no doubt that some of the ideas that we’re presenting on Tuesday evening will set a precedent for other options in other communities.”
She’s also encouraging residents to use water tanks and said there was a $500 subsidy from the council for those installing them.
Cr Kirkland wants residents to contact the council if there were concerns about water.
Divisional councillor Cherie Rutherford said there was still enough water left in the dam for a few months and there would be a noticeable difference in water quality when the extra trucks arrived.
Originally published as Mayor makes major Mount Morgan water announcement