COUNCILLORS have been told they can't rely on the Regis pipeline to get Bathurst out of its water shortage troubles.
At the September policy committee meeting, councillor Warren Aubin asked if council could investigate the possibility of putting in another pipeline when Regis is constructing its own pipeline to service the McPhillamy's Gold Mine.
"They're bringing a pipeline through our area, which is going very close to the filtration plant, I believe," he said.
"Why are we not looking at doing our own pipeline in coexistence with that one? Just getting them to dig a deeper trench so we can have a pipeline in there."
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While engineering services director Darren Sturgiss said it was an option council was considering, the idea would do nothing for Bathurst in the short term.
"One of the things with our water security challenges that we have in front of us, we are looking for short-term fixes that can provide us with some immediate relief. The Regis pipeline will not be it," Mr Sturgiss said.
"If the climate remains the same, as council has been aware, Chifley Dam will be essentially running out of water by December of next year unless some emergency works occur.
"The Regis pipeline will not be done in time."
The environmental impact statement that Regis has prepared for the pipeline was only recently presented to the NSW Government and Mr Sturgiss said that the approval process, on average, can take up to 500 days.
He said that council could look at the idea as a long-term solution on a regional level and he was "very interested" in pursuing it further.
"However, we need to be looking at some short-term and immediate projects to extend the life of our water supply in Chifley Dam beyond December next year."
One of the things with our water security challenges that we have in front of us, we are looking for short-term fixes that can provide us with some immediate relief. The Regis pipeline will not be it.Engineering services director Darren Sturgiss
As of September 17, Chifley Dam was at 45.5 per cent capacity.
In order to conserve more water, water restrictions will increase from Level 3 (high) to Level 4-5 (extreme) on Monday, October 14.
Council's general manager, David Sherley, explained last month that the reason why extreme restrictions would not be imposed until October was to allow for appropriate notification to residents and because "council is not utilising the water out at Ben Chifley Dam at the moment to run its water supply".
He said the water supply was coming down the Fish River from the Blue Mountains area and for that reason tightening restrictions earlier would not impact the volume of water in the Chifley Dam.
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