The Noosa-bound pumping station at Coles Creek at which water is already pumped from the Mary River into the Noosa water supply, soon to be connected to Brisbane.
The Noosa-bound pumping station at Coles Creek at which water is already pumped from the Mary River into the Noosa water supply, soon to be connected to Brisbane. Craig Warhurst

Mary Basin plan will run us dry

MARY Valley experts say they will question the State Government’s plans to take water from the Mary Basin in quantities which many say are unsustainable.

Amid concerns that water extraction for Brisbane’s reticulated supplies could run the river dry in some years, the Mary River Catchment Co-ordination Committee says the committee has significant questions about the viability of a so-called “strategic reserve” of 150,000 megalitres of water a year.

A spokesman for the MRCCC yesterday said there was “not a lot of scientific basis” for the size of the claimed strategic reserve.

It was based, many claim, on a distorted selection of years, designed to maximise the perceived quantity of water available from extraction.

The spokesman said the years selected for examination in assessing the strategic reserve had left out two drought years in 2002 and 2003.

“It’s just playing with figures,” he said.

However he said the 150,000Ml figure was likely to remain for some time in the government’s water resource plan, despite its obvious inaccuracy and the formal abandonment of government plans for the Traveston Crossing dam.

Reference to the dam has recently been removed from relevant government policies, but its strategic reserve figure still exists, as the Northern Interconnector project continues to move closer.

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