Preparing for the Pipeline

Like many areas in Australia, the Central Queensland region has faced prolonged drought in recent years. In response to this situation, the Department of Natural Resources and Water (DNRW) initiated the development of a regional, whole-of-Government strategy focused on finding the best solutions to efficiently meet the long-term water needs of the region.

GAWB’s Strategic Water Plan
GAWB had previously carried out its own assessment of the best methods for securing water for the Gladstone region through its Strategic Water Plan (SWP). GAWB has assessed the merits of seawater desalination, further raising Awoonga Dam, using a pipeline to access water from the Fitzroy River, new weirs and dams and further demand management measures as potential methods to ensure a reliable, long-term water supply for the region. GAWB determined that a pipeline from the Fitzroy River to Gladstone was the preferred option to ensure a reliable water supply for the region.

Central Queensland Regional Water Supply Strategy
GAWB’s SWP was considered by DNRW in the development of the regional strategy that became known as the Central Queensland Regional Water Supply Strategy (CQRWSS).

The CQRWSS recommends that GAWB receive an allocation of 30,000 ML of water from the Fitzroy River each year. It also identified that a pipeline from the Fitzroy River to Gladstone is required to transport this water. This allocation of water is contingent on the construction of additional in-stream storage in the Fitzroy River, which is likely to come in the form of a new weir at Rookwood and/or the raising of the Eden Bann weir. Work is currently progressing to assess these options to determine the most efficient option to secure additional water.

The Gladstone-Fitzroy Pipeline
GAWB commenced planning on the Gladstone-Fitzroy Pipeline in 2006, to ensure a reliable, long-term supply of bulk water for the region. While the Gladstone region has sufficient water for the short-term, consistently low inflows into Awoonga Dam during the past 10 years and strong industrial growth have signalled the need for a second source of water to ensure a long-term supply for the region.

GAWB is preparing now for the region’s future water needs to ensure a two-year construction phase can commence, should government approve its construction, as soon as low dam levels or increased demand trigger the need. Once operational, the Gladstone-Fitzroy Pipeline will be capable of delivering up to 30,000ML of water each year, providing a dual water source for GAWB’s supply network, augmenting that from Awoonga Dam which is currently Gladstone’s sole source of water.

The Gladstone – Fitzroy Pipeline will connect the Fitzroy River with GAWB’s raw water supply network through approximately 115km pipeline, linking two major sources of water for the region.