Bid to secure the future of water in the Wide Bay
COUNCIL, government and industry authorities have come together for the first time to discuss the future of water sustainability across the Wide Bay.
Maryborough MP Anne Maddern said all options were being explored as she hosted a meeting involving stakeholders from Wide Bay Water, Fraser Coast Regional Council, representatives from the local agriculture industry as well as various government departments including a spokeswoman for Deputy Prime Minister and Wide Bay Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss.
"It's a matter of putting the stakeholders together for each of them to put their point of view in place. So instead of, for example, Maryborough Sugar going off and doing their thing about accessing more water and Wide Bay Water going off and doing their thing, we thought it was important to get our heads together," Ms Maddern said.
"It's about identifying what water resources we currently have, identifying what our future needs might be - things like population growth, doubling agriculture, growing industry, all of those things need water and so it's a matter of working out how much water we need in the future over and above what we have currently and how we're going to obtain that water and what infrastructure we need to do that."
While Wednesday's meeting featured a broad discussion regarding the future of sourcing and sustaining water, potential options raised included catchment on Mary River as well as transporting water from Fraser Island.
"We want to research water harvesting on the Mary and its subsidiaries and how we might do that where that might happen and it needs to be done sustainably.
"How to do water management best in urban areas, obviously recycling of waste water is an option.
"Another option is whether there is the capacity to access water on Fraser Island in an environmentally sustainable way, and what barriers there might be to that."
Wide Bay Water chief executive officer Peter Care said the meeting was about focusing on the long term future of water supply in the area.
"It was really a meeting about long term solutions and looking at all options for the future," he said.
"You've got to look at everything to utilise water in the region, Mary River, Burnett River, recycling, water tanks, water loss reduction, they're all part of the same issue and they're all things to focus on, trying to find an ideal solution."
"There was no determination of any options at the meeting, just a matter of putting all the cards on the table."