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260 km QLD water pipeline project receives approval

Nathan Dam, a SunWater proposed dam to supply water for industrial development and urban communities in Central Queensland, has been granted environmental approvals, marking a significant milestone in determining the viability of the Nathan Dam and pipelines project.

The Nathan Dam and Pipelines Project is aimed at providing long-term, reliable water supplies to mining, power, urban and existing agricultural customers in the Surat Coal Basin and the Dawson-Callide sub-region of Central Queensland.

Water from the dam may also be called on to address critical water supply needs in the lower Fitzroy and other parts of Queensland.

The proposed Nathan Dam site is located just upstream of Nathan Gorge on the Dawson River, approximately 70 km downstream of Taroom and 315 km upstream of where the Dawson and Fitzroy rivers meet.

The dam is proposed to have a capacity of up to 888,312 ML to service future industrial and mining development in the Surat and southern Bowen basins.

The Nathan Pipeline will run from Nathan Dam to the Surat Basin. The pipeline will be buried along most of the route and largely follow existing easements south then southeast over a distance of approximately 260 km from Nathan to Dalby.

It will be capable of delivering 136 ML/day, with the design discharge reducing down the system. The delivery system will include four pump stations and three balancing storages, as well as air valves, scour points, surge tanks and standpipes.

The Federal Government approved the environmental impact statement (EIS), subject to conditions, following the Coordinator-General’s approval of the project and release of his evaluation report in May this year.

SunWater Chief Executive Officer Ms Nicole Hollows said she was pleased with the outcome of the environmental impact statement process which had been suspended in 2009 to further investigate a critically endangered snail population.

It is anticipated that construction of the Nathan Dam and associated pipelines would take nearly three years following finalisation of a detailed business case.

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