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Water Overview


A summary of the significant water events, major water initiatives and improvements in water information occurring during the reporting period are explained.


Significant Water Events

There were no significant water events in the Canberra region during the 2009–10 period.


Major Water Initiatives

Following the Water Security Review in 2007, the ACT Government announced a range of new water supply projects, which ACTEW continued to implement throughout the reporting period.
These include:

  • enlarging Cotter Reservoir to increase the capacity to 78,000 ML. Construction of this project commenced late 2009 and is expected to be completed in autumn 2012
  • Murrumbidgee to Googong water transfer pipeline, which will allow the transfer of water from the Murrumbidgee River to Burra Creek, where it will flow into Googong Reservoir. Planning for this transfer continued during the reporting period and construction commenced in early 2011
  • negotiations between the NSW and ACT governments regarding the Tantangara Transfer were underway during the reporting period. This involved the purchase of NSW water entitlements from Murrumbidgee irrigators downstream of the ACT, and transferring the water to the ACT via the Upper Murrumbidgee River
  • design of a demonstration water purification plant to treat wastewater to produce high-quality drinking water. The design of this project is now complete; however construction was deferred subject to the successful implementation of the three preceding projects (ACTEW 2010).

During the reporting period, the Draft Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Murray-Darling Basin Fractured Rock Groundwater Sources was progressed. This plan covers the groundwater within the NSW portion of the Canberra region. The plan went on public display in December 2010. Once finalised under the Water Management Act 2000 (NSW), the plan will be deemed an 'Interim Water Resource Plan' under the Commonwealth Water Act 2007 and will be legally binding for five years from its making.


Major Improvements in Water Information

The Bureau of Meteorology released its water storages product to the public in February 2010. The water storages product contains details of the urban water supply reservoirs, including current water levels and volumes, as well as historical information. This product is available on the Bureau of Meteorology’s Water Information website.