Population puts stress on water

GROWING demand for water from Tweed's booming population has forced Tweed Shire Council to investigate raising the wall of Clarrie Hall Dam to increase its capacity.

The council has put the higher dam wall at the top of its list of preferred options for future water supply, followed by a new dam at Byrrill Creek, west of Mt Warning, and tapping into south-east Queensland water supplies.

It has shelved a controversial option - a new dam west of Murwillumbah on the Oxley River that would flood parts of Tyalgum.

That option was originally ranked in fifth position ahead of desalination and the 'socially unacceptable' option of water re-use.

When the Oxley River proposal was last raised before the 2007 Federal election by then Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Tyalgum residents and surrounding property owners were outraged.

Then Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd vowed to ditch the idea if elected.

The council's Community and Natural Resources director, David Oxenham, in a report on the options, told councillors the existing Tweed water supplycan cater for a population of around 105,000.

“The current population of the shire is approximately 78,000,” he said.

“At current growth rates and current per capita water use the demand is forecast to exceed supply in the period 2017 to 2027.”



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