Page 2192 - Week 06 - Monday, 11 May 2009

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(3) When were Canberra’s dams constructed.

(4) At the time of construction of Canberra’s dams what (a) was their capacity, (b) maximum population were the dams intended to service, (c) was the average consumption per capita and (d) was estimated lifespan of the dams.

(5) What is the current figures for those categories listed in part (4).

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) ACTEW has advised that the Cotter Reservoir had not been in regular service since 1968 following the completion of the Bendora Dam and Bendora Gravity Main. However, it continued to be maintained so as to be available for emergencies during that period.

(2) Recommissioning the Cotter Reservoir earlier than this would not have made any difference to supply, as the water could not be treated to Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) quality standards.

Since construction of the water filtration plant at Stromlo in 2005, which enabled the Cotter Reservoir water to be treated to ADWG standards, I am advised that the Cotter Reservoir has added approximately 25 GL to Canberra’s water supply.

I understand that the recommissioning cost of the Cotter Reservoir, including the cost to construct the water filtration plant at Stromlo, which also enabled the water from Corin and Bendora Dams to be treated including after the bushfires, was approximately $55m.

(3) Cotter Dam 1912 - 1915 Raised in 1951

Bendora Dam 1959 - 1961

Corin Dam 1966 - 1968

Googong Dam 1975 – 1978

(4) (a) and (b)

ACTEW advises that in considering the responses to the Member’s question the following points have significantly affected the sustainable yield of the reservoirs and the combined system, meaning the design figures for population served below are not valid for comparison purposes with the current analysis:

• due to changes in the profile of Canberra’s population, commerce and industry;

• individual consumer habits including the significant increase in high water use facilities such as dishwashers, pools, spas etc;

• demand management activities undertaken over the last two decades; governance arrangements associated with management of the impoundments including operating rules;

• environmental flow guidelines;

• Murray Darling Basin Cap;

• permanent water conservation measures and temporary water restrictions;

• the changing levels of service standards acceptable to communities including their appetite for risk;

• new water charging regimes;

• the additional information available on the water resources available including the variability of our local meteorology including rainfall and streamflow, as well as the possible impact of climate change;

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