Deepwater will no longer sell water to Bolivia Hill road works project

Deepwater will no longer sell water to Bolivia Hill

Neither Deepwater nor Glen Innes water will be sold for use in the Bolivia Hill road works project with the tap to turn off by the end of the month.

Glen Innes Severn Council last Wednesday committed to finally put their foot down, asking the federally funded project to instead source water from Inverell's Copeton dam.

The sale of a truckload of water for use in the road works has become increasingly controversial among residents of the smaller town after council announced Glen Innes water would be replaced by Deepwater's at the July council meeting.

Director of Infrastructure Services Keith Appleby said the tap would be cut off from this week "more for perception than anything - the usage by this project is not overly significant, being approximately 100 -120 kilolitres a month. Notwithstanding, I acknowledge that every drop counts."

That 120 kilolitres is the equivalent use of water per month as the water contained in a backyard pool, and worth about $50 a pop.


Political pressure has recently escalated, with Deepwater couple Andrew and Lynn Osborne starting a petition on Tuesday September 3 demanding Federal MP Barnaby Joyce step in to stop the purchase.

"We need to stop the Bolivia Bypass construction company Georgiou using our town drinking water to make concrete," the petition says.

"The Deepwater weir (which was funded many years ago by the residents of Deepwater NSW) is being pumped out by one million litres every month to control dust and make concrete.

"We are the middle of a devastating drought with no rain predicted. We need to protect this environment and social irresponsibility NOW!!!"

Mr Appleby made the commitment to end water sale to the Examiner the same day, Tuesday September 3.

Lynn Osborne rejects the suggestion they jumped the gun, saying council was only responding to the pressure of the 262 online signatures they had gathered. They have also gathered more names on a physical copy.

Council Director Keith Appleby said Deepwater's weir is is at a relatively high level despite a lack of rainfall and prevailing drought conditions on farmland, with the river's flow stopping only recently and a large catchment in fast-flowing granite country guaranteeing the town's supply.

He estimated the town weir is down around 300ml, despite the drought's obvious effects on agricultural country, which makes the storage virtually full.

According to the town's state regulated drought management plan they barely even need water restrictions at the moment, he said.

"Both Council and the Deepwater community is concerned at the ongoing availability of water and so there is a push to introduce level three (water restrictions) up there as well," he said.

"In the season we've got that's considered wise, with a mayoral minute on the matter to be submitted to Council on 26 September 2019."

Lynn Osborne said the council was lying about the amount of water in the weir, and said the council was "playing Russian roulette" and acting on the assumption of rain.