The 20km Bega to Yellow Pinch Dam pipeline and pump station has been officially opened after the $24 million pipeline project began construction in 2010.
Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water Senator Don Farrell said, “The new pipeline and pump station means up to 20 million litres of groundwater a day can be transferred to the Yellow Pinch Dam for later use.
“The groundwater will be extracted from the Bega bore fields during high flow events on the lower Bega River, which recharge the groundwater accessed by the bores. This provides the Bega Valley Shire with an additional, secure water supply. It reduces water extraction from Tantawanglo Creek, which will protect environmentally important low flows,” Senator Farrell said.
Officially opening the project, member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly said the pipeline would be an important part of the long-term water supply strategy for the Bega Valley Shire.
“The pipeline not only provides improved water supply security for urban areas in the south of the Bega Valley Shire, it also means the projected water demands of the shire to the year 2045 will now be met,” Dr Kelly said.
Dr Kelly congratulated Bega Valley Shire Council, which contributed $13 million to the landmark project, on delivering a long-term solution to meet the region’s water demands.
“This project did not eventuate without considerable time and effort, as well as the understanding and flexibility of a number of landowners – I congratulate everybody who has devoted themselves to seeing this project through to completion,” Dr Kelly said.
Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Cr Tony Allen said while the Bega Valley Shire had experienced two years of good rain, planning for future dry spells and the effects of climate change was critical.
“This pipeline will provide more operational flexibility needed to manage the projected impacts of climate change, and will also provide a source of water to refill Yellow Pinch Dam during the high river flows experienced here at Bega,” Cr Allen said.
The Bega to Yellow Pinch Dam pipeline project was funded by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative through the Water Smart Australia program. The Australian government provided $10 million towards the project.