Water-short Denmark flush with aid money

By David Kavanagh | posted on September 12, 2019

A NEW water pipeline connecting Denmark to Albany has been announced as part of a near $40 million commitment by the State Government to secure the former’s water supply.

Water Minister Dave Kelly said last week that the town, 50km west of Albany, was at risk of running out of water before next winter if something wasn’t done.

“Like many parts in the south-west of Western Australia, Denmark simply doesn’t receive the amount of rain that it used to due to the very real impact of climate change,” he said.

“The McGowan Government is investing up to $39 million in Denmark to implement a new water security plan which will mean Denmark’s water supply is no longer solely reliant on rainfall into local dams.”

Construction on the pipeline, which will be connected to the Lower Great Southern Towns Water Supply Scheme, is expected to begin in 2020 following environmental surveys and approvals to determine its best route.

In the short-term, Denmark will be subject to Stage 5 water restrictions as of October 1 and will have its water supply shored up by a $7 million water carting program from Albany.

Denmark residents will also be asked to use less scheme water through the Denmark Waterwise Towns Program also commencing on October 1.

“Stage 5 restrictions mean garden sprinkler systems can only be used one day a week instead of the normal two days during summer,” Mr Kelly noted.

“It is expected the water restrictions will save about 29 million litres of water, which is equivalent to about three weeks’ water supply for the town.”

Denmark has recorded three of the driest years on record since 2014, with this year tracking to stick with that trend.

Its primary water source, the nearby Quickup Dam, is currently looking to receive its lowest stream flow ever, having so far recorded just 305 million litres of water compared to its long-term annual average of about 2000 million litres.