SEND OUR WATER NORTH

By PETER CATON

TWEED and Gold Coast council engineers have worked out a simple and inexpensive solution to ease the Gold Coast's water shortage if only politicians will listen.

The plan involves pumping excess water from the Tweed during wet seasons directly into the southern Gold Coast's town water supply.

That would allow the Gold Coast City Council to turn off the supply from an enlarged Hinze Dam, saving the water for dry times.

The plan is thought to be one option being studied as part of the National Water Commission's report on the potential of pumping water from the Northern Rivers to drought-ravaged Queensland.

It is understood to have been discussed between Gold Coast City Council and Tweed Shire Council water engineers.

Yesterday Gold Coast City Council water committee chairperson Cr Daphne McDonald welcomed the idea but said it might require federal government intervention.

At present it is illegal under NSW law for the Tweed to pump any water to outside the shire.

Last week state politicians were already ruling out the possibility of supplying water across the border, citing the need for massive new dams and the water demands of a growing population in northern NSW.

The wet-season pumping plan would avoid the cost of any new dams in New South Wales and make efficient use of existing dams in Queensland.

Council engineering chief Patrick Knight said the Tweed did have surplus water during wet seasons and "from an engineering point of view" an obvious option the commission should look at would be using that surplus.

"You could interconnect the systems. We could feed into the southern Gold Coast during the wet season so they wouldn't draw into their storages," he said.

"But the state governments would have to sign off on it".

Cr McDonald said the option was "something that really should be looked at".

"You would d have to do a pretty comprehensive report to see if it was feasible," she said.

But she warned if Tweed had a good wet season the chances were that the Gold Coast would be receiving good rain.



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