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Tibooburra runs dry

Saturday, 18th January, 2014

A workman installing the water tanks at Tibooburra. PICTURE: Supplied A workman installing the water tanks at Tibooburra. PICTURE: Supplied

By By Emily Roberts

Tibooburra’s water supply is so low, they are installing water tanks and will soon have water carted in daily to fill them.
Hot weather and lack of rainfall has resulted in a rapid depletion of the water supply to the town’s population of 110, including a school and bush hospital.
The NSW Government is paying up to $250,000 for the water tanks and the carting of emergency water to Tibooburra.
Four polyethylene rainwater tanks will be used to store the carted water, replacing the existing in-ground open earth tank.
The tanks will be positioned on a purpose built earth pad on the bank of Allpress Dam and will be plumbed into Tibooburra’s water treatment plant so that carted water can be processed through the plant.
Tibooburra Water’s treasurer and a volunteer Dan Hough said the tanks arrived on Thursday and they put them in place yesterday.
“The plumbing has to be set up, but we will put some water in them - so they don’t blow away,” he said.
The Roads and Maritime Service would cart water to the tanks.
“They will be getting water 60 kilometres south of Tibooburra,” he said.
“It will be brought up once or twice daily. There will be 45,000 litres of water a day brought to the town.”
Tibooburra Water was set up over 10 years ago, when the Water Trust folded.
“A new treatment plant was installed with the help of many organisations,” Mr Hough said.
“There needed to be a body appointed by the Minister for Water - then Tibooburra Water was formed.”
Mr Hough said Tibooburra’s main water supply had ran out.
“Our main dam is dry and we have about 18 feet of water left in the second dam - so we started organising a plan,” he said.
“Once the dam runs out, the tanks are the only supply we will have.
“If it rains, that will be great, but we are putting these steps in place so we’re not left high and dry.
“Hopefully, we don’t need the tanks but we can’t wait until the last minute to install them.”
Mr Hough said the community has been under strict water restrictions to conserve what little water they have left.
“I hope it rains, so does everyone else,” he said.
Member for Murray Darling John Williams said the NSW Government was funding the cartage and infrastructure costs immediately until normal supply can be restored.
“This will reduce losses through evaporation from the almost empty Allpress Dam and ensure the water is of a good enough quality for the Tibooburra water treatment plant to operate efficiently,” he said.
“I am aware that raw water left in Allpress Dam will last the township about five weeks.”

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