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Test Project

NuWater

The NuWater Project is an irrigation plan to pump recycled water from South East Queensland, improve Moreton Bay water quality for all South East Queenslanders and increase agricultural production across the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs.

  • What is NuWater?

    The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) on behalf of an unofficial consortium including QFF industry members Cotton Australia, Central Downs Irrigators Limited (CDIL), Growcom and the Queensland Chicken Meat Council (QCMC), Agforce, Lockyer Valley Growers, Lockyer Valley Regional Council (LVRC), Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) and Seqwater, was successful in applying for funding under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to undertake a feasibility study to test the viability of using recycled water from the South-East Queensland Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme (WCRWS) and prepare a Preliminary Business Case.

    The NuWater Project delivers a synergistic solution to the rising costs of treating wastewater prior to disposal in waterways and the Moreton Bay, and the constraints and lack of opportunities for agricultural and industrial growth in the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs.

    This study was supported by funding from the Australian Government National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, an initiative of the Northern Australia and Agricultural Competitiveness White Papers.

  • Feasibility Study and Preliminary Business Case

    International consulting firm GHD was engaged by the NuWater Consortium to investigate the feasibility of the NuWater Project and develop a Preliminary Business Case.

    A broad range of potential options to deliver recycled water from Brisbane to the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs were identified.

    All identified options delivered against the following objectives:

    • Supports the expansion of irrigated agricultural production across the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs by beneficially utilising recycled water and concurrently reducing the nutrient load on Moreton Bay.
    • Aligns with the Moreton, Condamine and Balonne Water Plans and does not adversely impact other water users of the environment.
    • A water product that is fit for purpose, integrates with Seqwater’s water supply security strategies whilst improving certainty for crop planting and management decisions.

    Ultimately, the option to use class B/C water with the use of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme (WCRWS) pipeline, the construction of Healthwood pump station, new delivery pipeline and pump stations from Lowood to the top of the Toowoomba Range plus distribution networks to the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs agricultural areas was most favourable following economic, financial and commercial analysis.

  • Project Outcomes

    If completed, the NuWater Project would:

    • Provide up to 84,680 megalitres per year of irrigation water to agriculture and industry west of Brisbane including the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs, reducing the amount of treated wastewater being released into the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay.
    • Remove over 660,000 kilograms of nutrients annually from SEQ waterways and from the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
    • Create over 3,500 jobs during the construction phase and over 2,750 ongoing jobs for the region.
    • Provide an extremely valuable source of new water into the Murray-Darling Basin, and offset some of the social and economic cost of the Murray-Darling Basin reforms on key areas of the Darling Downs.
    • Provide significant opportunities for new agricultural industries.
    • Provide a solution to some of the challenges of wastewater disposal as a result of continued urban developments across South-East Queensland, including reduces water treatment costs.
    • Provide a potential source of water that could be used by the CSG industry to assist with supplementing its “make good” water supply obligations if necessary.
    • Increase on farm production by up to $500 million over the life of the project, or approximately $64 million per annum, with consequential flow on impacts for regional communities.

    The Preliminary Business Case identified some of the key future step-changes in current policy and technology that would be required to improve the economic viability of the project.

The NuWater Project
Beneficial use of recycled water

Recycle nearly 85 billion litres per year of water to irrigate agriculture on the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs.

Transform the region

Drive employment growth and attract new skills and talent to the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs.

Sustainable growth

Additional source of supply to encourage new industries in the Lockyer Valley and the Darling Downs.

Environmental stewardship

Ease the pressure on the Murray-Darling Basin through the provision of an alternative source of water.

Improved water quality

Reduce the amount of treated wastewater being released into the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay by up to 85 billion litres annually.

Economic Growth

Strengthen the long term viability of community assets including Inland Rail, Wellcamp Airport and InterlinkSQ.

Agriculture expansion

Additional production from nutrients in recycled water and supporting existing agricultural industries to expand.