The residents of Cloncurry can now rest assured that they will have adequate supplies of water following the completion of the Cloncurry Water Pipeline.
With water being supplied to the town by rail, in 2008 the Cloncurry Shire Council requested help from the State Government for the construction of a water pipeline. In December 2008 Premier Anna Bligh announce that SunWater had been selected to build the pipeline.
The 450 mm diameter, 38 kilometre pipeline was constructed by SunWater and is part of a $A42 million drought-proofing project and runs from Lake Julius to Cloncurry.
Construction of the pipeline included two rail crossings and three road crossings. For the underground crossings, SunWater subcontracted Bothar Boring to complete the five crossings of 30 to 40 metres long using steel cased auger boring. PVC pipes were also installed for the final eight kilometres of the pipeline into the township, with an overall figure of 4,800 pipe lengths used in the construction.Article continues below…
The pipeline is expected to deliver up to 900 megalitres of water a year. The pipeline runs via a connection to SunWater’s 110 kilometre North West Queensland Water Pipeline and Julius Dam.
State Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan said, “Recognising the urgent need for a reliable water supply in Cloncurry, this pipeline project has been fast-tracked with construction completed in less than four months – ahead of schedule and under budget.”
As well as providing the region with a sustainable water supply, construction of the pipeline has had a number of peripheral economic benefits, including creating and sustaining local employment and injecting approximately $A3 million into the local economy.
Cloncurry’s cultural heritage was also taken into consideration in the planning and design of the pipeline. During a survey undertaken in March – April 2009 a range of culturally significant artefacts were identified along the pipeline route. The route was then redesigned to respect these artefacts, except where the Mitakoodie people gave permission to relocate them.
The project is currently being commissioned and water is expected to begin flowing into Cloncurry in March subject to weather conditions.