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    Actew says no to new dam, has other plans

By CRISPIN HULL


No new dam will be constructed for Canberra under the final Actew plan made public today (Apr 19).

Instead, the final report recommends that a new $40 million pipeline be built to pump water from the Murrumbidgee River to Googong Dam, augmenting a new plan to develop a $20 million Stromlo-to-Googong Reticulation Transfer Plan. Together, the two proposals could deliver an extra 24 gigalitres of water a year.

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said the report would be thoroughly assessed before a final decision was made by the Government.

In December 2004 a preliminary report concluded that greater water storage for the ACT would be needed sooner than previously expected, unless the Canberra community was prepared to accept regular water restrictions.

The ACTEW report assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the various options for augmenting the Territory's water supply. It recommends building a pipeline to Googong Reservoir from the Murrumbidgee near Angle Crossing. This would pump up to 12 gigalitres of water a year.

According to ACTEW, this option should provide a reliable source of water for the ACT and the region until about 2023. It would take two to three years to complete.

The recommendation would build on the ACTEW Board's plan to proceed with the Stromlo-to-Googong Reticulation Transfer Plan, which would deliver another 12 gigalitres of water a year.

Copies of the report are available at www.actew.com.au/futurewateroptions.

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