WITH reference to the front page article in the Western Advocate ("Councillors' harvesting concept could help city during drought", August 6), suggesting a couple of small dams on the Macquarie floodplain for water harvesting purposes, I put forward a suggestion for the benefit of not only Bathurst, but half the state of NSW.
The State Government has an under-utilised desalination plant at Kurnell in Sydney.
A feasibility study could investigate the viability of piping and pumping the desalinated water directly into Warragamba Dam with solar-powered booster pumps.
Then, another pipeline could be constructed from Warragamba Dam to the upper catchment of the Campbells River (approximately 90 kilometres) that feeds into the Ben Chifley Dam.
The careful management of this increase of water would benefit all users along the Macquarie River to the Darling River, including the Burrendong Dam. The Darling River would also be the recipient.
Further, a pipeline could be constructed from the Ben Chifley Dam to both the Oberon Dam and Wyangala Dam (approximately 80 kilometres) to the south.
This would give all the users downstream along the Lachlan River an increase in water resources in drought. The flow onward would also improve the Darling River ecosystem.
If feasible, the result would effectively help drought-proof the southern half of NSW.
The complex control of the distribution of water would need to be managed by State Water of NSW.
If proven feasible and successful, a similar system could be installed at Coffs Harbour (with a new plant) to supply desalinated water to the upper catchment of the Darling River to the north.
Maybe it would be more prudent for council representatives to collectively put to the state and federal governments a more universal proposal for drought assistance that will benefit more of the state than individual "part" fixes that will cost millions of dollars for each local government area.
If this (or a similar) proposal was to go ahead, it would also result in a mass increase in job creation and have economic benefits across the state.
Food for thought?