Last Thursday morning, there was a gathering at Kentucky Creek Dam – the picturesque source of Uralla’s water supply – to officially launch the Let’s Talk About Water Project.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Uralla Mayor Michael Pearce and Director Infrastructure and Regulation Terry Seymour were among those who addressed the small COVID-safe gathering about the need for collaborative action on water security.
“If we fail to take any learnings from this drought, on how we think and plan for water security, we are consigning ourselves and those who come after us to be in a potentially worse situation then we have been,” said Adam Marshall.
“This project will be influential throughout the regions in helping us to take the next steps forward,” he added.
The launch was organised by Dr Sandra Eady and ZNET Plus, a local community group who are planning the comprehensive community consultation project which will help inform the decisions made by Uralla Shire Council and NSW Government in implementing water security measures.
Prof Stuart Khan and Prof Matthew Kearnes from University of New South Wales Global Water Institute were also in attendance. The visiting pair are a highly experienced part of the project team and took the opportunity to meet some key stakeholders and familiarise themselves with the water infrastructure while they were here.
“This project will allow the potential solutions to be conceived and driven by the community and inform the outcomes from water security,” said Prof Khan. “And there are a whole range of options we will be looking at – from rainwater tanks to recycling water, pipelines, bores and desilting the dam.”
Ted Williams, who has lived his entire life on his family property by the edge of Kentucky Creek Dam had never seen the dam as dry as it was last year, although there have certainly been other years where drought has had a big impact.
“The thing to remember is that while the dam is full, there is a huge amount of silt in there – islands of silt. As soon as the water gets low from evaporation you’ve got nothing there.”
Thank you to Trish Rasmussen, ZNET Uralla’s sustainable firewood project officer and CWA member who arranged the catering, and Herbie Khan for the water bottle display.
For more information, contact Water Project Officer Heidi McElnea water(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au or visit zneturalla.org.au/water