A constrained water supply is limiting the growth of agricultural, industrial and mining productivity in and adjacent to the Bowen Basin. Increasing the water supply can unlock additional agricultural land and facilitate a more robust water trading market with potential flow-on price reductions for mining and industrial water users.
There is also an integrated opportunity to explore pumped hydro storage within the local Renewable Energy Zones and increase resilience for the Whitsunday region’s urban water supply.
The 2019 Infrastructure Australia Audit states water infrastructure could help to unlock economic opportunities when supported by evidence-based assessments that consider potential benefits, costs and risks for industry, local communities and the environment.
Potential options to address the initiative include:
- non-infrastructure options, such as demand management
- upgrading or making better use of existing water infrastructure assets
- new pipeline, weir and/or dam infrastructure if there is sufficient demand.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).