Drought affected councils in the Namoi region will begin investigations into how wastewater can be better utilised thanks to a state government grant.
The NSW Government will provide Namoi Unlimited with $285,000 under round one of the “Increasing Resilience to Climate Change” program. The money will be used to investigate and test the use of waste water on gravel roads across the five Local Government Areas.
Chairperson of Namoi Unlimited and Mayor of Gunnedah Shire Council Jamie Chaffey welcomed the funding and said, “with much of the region battling intense drought it’s important councils consider how community water is used.
“We think that with a bit of research and some leadership we can develop a better use for waste water, in circumstances where the health and environmental risks can be identified and mitigated.
“In this project, it is specifically about water, and how essential it is for maintaining gravel roads and current practice is to use valuable treated water on gravel roads.
“This funding will enable us to investigate uses of wastewater on gravel roads and potentially trial a solution with one of our members, which could lead better use of this type of water and more sustainable and efficient practices for Councils moving forward,” explained Cr Chaffey.
Working together Namoi Unlimited member councils will engage with local communities about acceptable uses of waste water, and develop regional collaboration in water and roads functions.
A pilot program will also be run within one of the member councils to trial and test applications and technologies to measure wastewater treatment and responses.
“The importance of a reliable and safe gravel road network cannot be understated, these are the roads that connect our communities, they are used daily by our farmers and businesses, school buses and our emergency services.
“Our communities deserve roads that are safe and well cared for even in times where water is scarce, and our wider communities should have confidence that their councils are committed to identifying all types of solutions for water use efficiency and water security,” says Cr Chaffey.
The announcements comes ahead of the release of Namoi Unlimited’s Water for the Future report which is expected early July. The report will include a number of recommendations around; local utilities and their functions, regulation and policy, as well as functions to plan and priorities water infrastructure.