Mayor says despite drought Parkes has secure water supply

>Mayor says despite drought Parkes has secure water supply

Mayor says despite drought Parkes has secure water supply

Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM disputed reports that Parkes is forecast to run out of water in March 2020.

"Parkes Shire Council's strong water management strategies means Parkes is not at immediate risk of running dry, contrary to recent media reports," Cr Keith said.

"It is deeply disappointing that these figures have been quoted," Cr Keith continued. "While there is no doubt that the current drought situation is dire and needs a combined response from all levels of government, our communities are already stressed without this kind of alarmist reporting adding to the burden."

"Parkes Shire Council, like other Councils in the region, are responsible and experienced water utility managers with the capacity to implement a range of appropriate responses in order to safeguard our communities' water supplies."

"Our community can rest assured that Parkes will have water through 2020 and beyond. We are very much able to service our residents, businesses, and visitors to the region."

"On the back of the weekend's misleading reports we have had some visitors questioning their travel plans as they do not want to be further a drain on our water supply. I would like to reassure everyone that Parkes is not at imminent risk of running dry. We encourage visitors to come and support our local businesses and enjoy everything Parkes has to offer, including the 2020 Parkes Elvis Festival," Cr Keith said.

"Parkes Shire Council has invested significantly in our water security over the past five years and this proactive, integrated approach has strengthened our ability to withstand the current conditions," Cr Keith added.

Parkes Shire Council's General Manager Kent Boyd said that Council upgraded the raw water infrastructure in 2016-18 as part of Council's $100m multi award-winning Integrated Water Infrastructure Program.

Council constructed new, more efficient water and wastewater treatment plants, as well as upgrading our raw water supply infrastructure, constructing a new river pump station and refurbishing Council's bores" he explained.

"The borefield now comprises eight bores that collectively allow an increasing extraction capacity while spreading the drawdown of water over a larger area to minimise impact on the aquifer," Mr Boyd said.

Council is also about to commission a Recycled Water Scheme, which creates an entirely new, climate-resistant local water supply for the town. Recycled water is used to irrigate public parks and sporting fields, which will maintain greenspaces during drought while reducing demand on potable water.

"While the current drought is dire, and presents a real risk to the region, Parkes Shire Council is diligently managing the situation with efficient use of available resources, ongoing water conservation measures, and the continued implementation of water infrastructure projects," Mr Boyd explained.

"We are always planning at least two years ahead."

Cr Keith acknowledged the ongoing work to protect the Central West's water supplies.

"CENTROC are currently investigating a number of major water infrastructure projects to further strengthen the region's water security, and Council welcomes further, collaborative responses with State and Federal Governments," he said.

"Council would also like to congratulate the Parkes community for their efforts to reduce water consumption. Water conservation is difficult to achieve without the cooperation of our residents," Cr Keith added.

"Our residents are resilient, resourceful and responsible water users, and thanks to their ongoing conservation efforts we have lowered our per-capita consumption, which combined with our infrastructure upgrades, helps to reduce pressure on our water supply. As we say in Parkes, it all adds up."

2019-09-20T09:22:15+11:00September 19th, 2019|News|

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