Water plan to secure future of world-famous backyard

Cairns Regional Council

26 July, 2011

Residents in the Port Douglas and Mossman region are set to benefit from an $11 million dollar water management plan to provide sustainable water security for the region.

Under the Our Water; Our World-Famous Backyard plan:

  • $7.6 million will be spent by Council and the Federal Government on a

range of water management initiatives by June 30 next year in Division 10, taking in Port Douglas and Mossman;

  • A further multi-million dollar budget has been allocated by Council on upgrades to existing water infrastructure and on planning for new sources of water in the Port Douglas/Mossman region.
    • $5.5m will be spent on the Mossman Recycled Water Scheme
    • $1.5m will be spent on the Port Douglas Storage and Trunk Infrastructure project
    • $1.1m will go to a pilot program for new advanced water meters in Port Douglas in 2012
    • $110,000 has been allocated for a new scoping study to identify future water sources for the region
      • $274,000 leak detection repair program
      • $205,000 pressure management program

Key drivers of the plan are to encourage the region’s growing population to get behind new water management and water conservation initiatives. It will help ensure the region’s world-famous reef and rainforest “backyard” remains an international drawcard, supported by sustainable water use, management and supply.

 “Council will release details shortly of our plan for the community and Council to work together to better manage water from Rex Creek in a more sustainable way,” Mayor Val Schier said.

Details will be released soon on:

  • A Water Smart Home Service that will offer residents free water saving management devices and advice on how to detect leaks and more efficiently use available water supplies;
  • A Commercial Advisory Service for business that is also free and which aims to show business how to better manage water use
  • Initiatives for the tourist industry to encourage visitors to the region to support responsible water management.

Cr Schier said residents needed to act immediately.

“We are in the middle of the dry season and water levels in Rex Creek can drop quickly,” she said.

“If we don’t act to better manage our water use, water restrictions may become necessary.

“Port Douglas and Mossman have one of the best backyards in the world, with a combination of the reef and the rainforest plus a lifestyle second to none. 

“Responsible and sustainable water management and use is the key to everyday life in this region.

“At the same time, we are looking at other long-term water supply solutions as part of this plan.”

The project is supported by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative through the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program and the Cairns Regional Council.

“From the rainforest to the reef, Port Douglas and Mossman have world-class attractions right in their backyard and water remains the vital lifeblood for this community in every facet of their day to day lives,” Cr Schier said.

“In the meantime, it is vital to better manage our water right now.  There is no time – and no water – to waste.”