I READ with interest Cr Jess Jennings’ alarming predictions that Chifley Dam may reach a level of 30 per cent by the end of summer, therefore triggering level four restrictions (“Value every drop”, January 3).
While this is pure speculation, it does make one realise what a precarious situation Bathurst Regional Council, and the Bathurst community, has got itself into. So what are they doing about it?
A quick trawl through council’s website site reveals a number of public documents in relation to asset management and strategic plans. The most relevant one here is Strategic Business Plan for Water Supply and Sewerage Services 2009/10, dated February 2010.
Let’s check that date again … yes, February 2010.
In this document there is an item for planning and inclusion in future capital works programs for raising the wall at Chifley Dam, but not before 2035.
Surely, if Cr Jennings is correct, and one hopes he is not, then council should already be well advanced in the planning stage for raising the wall at Chifley Dam. Sadly, there is little, or no, evidence of this on council’s website.
Indeed, this very document, the Strategic Business plan dated February 2010, states, on its first page and in bold print, that this "Plan is to be reviewed every five years, with the next review in 2014”.
Again, sadly, there is no evidence on council’s website that this review has been completed, or has even started, let alone whether or not the timing for raising the dam wall has been reviewed.
Raising the dam wall should once more be a subject of public discussion and council consideration, as should any other feasible alternative sources of water supply for the rapidly growing greater Bathurst community.