A feasibility study is now underway to determine the best location and management regime for a new water storage on the Cloncurry River to support agricultural development and water security for mining, industry and urban water users.
Following a robust selection process, Jacobs Group (Australia) Pty Limited (“Jacobs”) has been appointed by regional development group, the Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone (MITEZ), to carry out and deliver this major two-part study which will look into the feasibility of constructing the proposed Cloncurry River Dam.
The $1.5m study is supported by funding from the Australian Government’s National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, an initiative of the Northern Australia and Agricultural Competitiveness white papers.
MITEZ President, David Glasson, said Jacobs brings extensive experience in the delivery of similar studies for water storage facilities across Queensland and nationally.
“Jacobs will focus on the feasibility of constructing a new dam on the upper Cloncurry River,” he added.
“Jacobs has been involved in economic studies for projects such as Nullinga, Nathan and Connors River Dams, as well as Paradise Dam, Wyaralong Dam, and Hinze Dam Stage III upgrade,” Mr Glasson said.
Under Queensland Government guidelines, Jacobs will deliver a preliminary business case by November 2017 and a detailed business case by December 2018.
Jacobs Project Manager, Angus MacDonald, said that the Jacobs team are delighted to be involved in this strategically important project.
“We will engage with key stakeholders around Cloncurry, take a forward-looking approach to the demand assessment and consider a diversity of agricultural production opportunities,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Jacobs has also managed and delivered many large multidisciplinary studies with a focus on water infrastructure, hydro-geology, agronomy and agribusiness, along with benefits-cost analysis” he said.
Mayor of Cloncurry Shire Council, Cr Greg Campbell, said he was excited about the study kicking off.
“We know how important water is to development and industry growth”.
“One of the main drivers for a major storage on the Cloncurry River is to provide sufficient, affordable water to develop an irrigated agriculture precinct, additional water for industry and water security for our communities, which is essential if we are to further develop the north”, the mayor said.
“And if the completed feasibility study indicates a dam on the Cloncurry River is viable, this will enable proponents to apply to the Commonwealth’s Water Infrastructure Fund for a contribution towards construction of the dam.”