The Scenic Rim region is set to be connected to the South East Queensland Water Grid for the first time.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said the $135 million Beaudesert Water Supply Upgrade would provide a long-term water supply solution for the rapidly growing region.
“The upgrade will involve the construction of the 27km south west pipeline connecting Scenic Rim to the water grid, a new water treatment plant to bring Wyaralong Dam on line as a drinking water source and increase the storage capacity of the existing Beaudesert Water Treatment Plant,’’ Dr Lynham said.
“The projects will connect Beaudesert, the last off-grid major population area in SEQ, to the grid and provide increased water supply security for more than 40,000 people in the Scenic Rim.
“With the Scenic Rim area growing rapidly, the latest projections show the existing Beaudesert Water Treatment Plant will struggle to meet peak demand by 2022,” he said.
“These projects will improve water supply reliability to support the continued population and economic growth of the region and create up to 400 jobs during construction.”
Seqwater CEO Neil Brennan said the projects would not only improve long term water security for Scenic Rim residents but all of SEQ. Once connected, Wyaralong Dam will be the region’s fifth largest drinking water source.
“The Water Grid is our connected network of dams, water treatment plants, reservoirs, pump stations and pipelines across SEQ which allows us to move water around our region when needed,” he said.
“The addition of another significant water supply source to the Water Grid will improve long term water security for South East Queensland.”
The population of the Scenic Rim, which includes the Bromelton Industrial Area, is expected to double to 80,000 people over the next 20 years.
Scenic Rim Council Mayor Greg Christensen said the projects were a significant investment in the region’s future.
“Ensuring we have water supply infrastructure capable of meeting our future growth and demand is critical to our region’s future. Scenic Rim Council will continue to work closely with Seqwater to help facilitate these projects,’’ he said.
Wyaralong Dam, located between Beaudesert and Boonah, was completed in 2011 in response to the Millennium Drought in the 2000s. When the drought broke construction of the new water treatment plant and grid connection was deferred and the water storage has since been maintained as a recreation facility.
The storage upgrade at the Beaudesert Water Treatment Plant will be constructed in 2019 and provide an additional five million litres of storage capacity, to be followed by the Grid connection in 2021. Based on the forecast demands, the new water treatment plant will not need to be operational before 2022.