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In July 2021, Rous County Council adopted a three-stage Future Water Project 2060 following two extensive public exhibition periods.
Our mission - to secure our region a high-quality drinking water supply for future generations and continue to deliver ongoing water conservation measures.
Byron Shire, Ballina Shire, Lismore City and Richmond Valley. A supply area of over 3,000km2, encompassing growing and diverse communities.
Rous County Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which it works and pays respect to Elders past, present and future. We are committed to working in partnership with the Traditional Custodians of the Bundjalung Nation.
With a capacity of 14,000ML, Rocky Creek Dam has been the primary bulk water source for the region since 1953. Water is also sourced from Emigrant Creek Dam at Brooklet (north-west of Ballina) and from the Wilsons River at Howards Grass upstream from Lismore. When full, Rocky Creek Dam is able to meet a year's water needs for our total supply area.
Over the next 40 years, Rous will take a 3-stage approach to investigating, implementing and securing our region's water supply.
2021-2025 focuses on maximising the efficiencies of our existing water sources by continuing to implement water conservation programs, upgrading existing community infrastructure at the Marom Creek Water Treatment Plant and developing existing bores to access groundwater from the Clarence-Moreton Basin, deep below Alstonville's aquifer. This stage also commences the planning for a pilot purified recycled water treatment plant to obtain community acceptance of the advanced purification technology, as well as complete further investigations into the opportunities of purified recycled water as an indirect water supply option.
2026-2029 focuses on the further delivery of contemporary water conservation measures and delivery of a new groundwater scheme in the Byron Shire area. This stage will commence planning for future groundwater sources and the construction and verification process of the pilot purified recycled water treatment plant. This will coincide with a broad community education program about the benefits of purified recycled water.
2030-2060 focuses on being agile and keeping all appropriate options available to respond to a changing climate and advancements in technology. This stage is critical in determining and implementing the most cost effective and sustainable option to secure the region's long-term water supply to 2060 and beyond.
Since 1995, our region has reduced individual water consumption by 50%. The Future Water Project 2060 prioritises the continuation of that reduction via a suite of measures. Moving forward, these ongoing water efficiency measures can go on to secure a further 15% reduction across our communities in the long term.
Over a 2-year period starting from late 2021, Rous will commence planning for the rollout of smart metering to all of our 2,000 direct customers.
Benefits of smart metering include better monitoring of daily water use to help customers find new ways to reduce consumption, and early notification of leaks.
It also provides Rous with accurate real time data for better planning.
Rous will invest in technologies for better pressure management and active leak detection, with the potential to significantly reduce water loss within the bulk supply network.
In 1991, the average water use was 484KL per connection per annum.
By 2019, usage was reduced to 247KL per connection per annum.
In 2021, use is 195 litres per person per day. Our usage target is 160 litres per person per day.
Download the Future Water Project 2060 Community Summary brochure here