NO DAM: The stall against the proposed Dunoon/Channon dam at The Channon Markets
NO DAM: The stall against the proposed Dunoon/Channon dam at The Channon Markets

Could mega dam result in massive water price hike?

THE proposed Dunoon/Channon dam has been labelled as an attractive option under the FutureWater Project 2060 from Rous County Council.

Over the weekend, pamphlets were distributed at The Channon Markets which claimed the proposed dam would raise water costs by four times the current cost.

Rous County Council chairman Keith Williams said while he could not disprove the claim entirely, it was unlikely.

“It would be hard for me to disprove that at this time because Rous does not set the retail price of water … we provide that bulk water to the shires and the shire retails it to the public,” he said.

“It’s unlikely our wholesale price is going to increase four times but I can’t guarantee that … at this stage we’ve still got to do way more financial modelling.”

The pamphlet from The Channon Markets
The pamphlet from The Channon Markets

Cr Williams said existing framework in the area lessened the cost of dam in comparison to other alternatives.

“One of the features of it is that it is a relative small connection to our existing treatment plant at Rocky Creek Dam so there’s no need to building new treatment plants … and it plugs into our existing network … so the location and ability to work within our existing infrastructure makes that option attractive,” he said.

“We’ve also tried to look at what we can do more with recycled water, is desalination an option and on cost basis and potential environmental impacts, each of them (including groundwater) doesn’t stack up yet.”

Cr Williams said he understood the concerns residents from Dunoon and The Channon had in relation to the dam.

“I certainly understand the concern of people that live in The Channon and Dunoon area … my personal view is this is the lowest impact option we can do in terms of the area impacted, the ecosystems impacted all of those factors, the dam stacks up.

“We have to do feasibility studies, we’ve got to do detailed technical work, environmental impact studies and really importantly work with our local indigenous community for whom this is a significant area in terms of what we want to do.”