Drought resilience package for the Southern Downs region

The Queensland Government is investing $19.34 million to provide reliable and lasting drought contingency water supply for the Southern Downs region.

This package is being delivered in partnership with the Southern Downs Regional Council, Seqwater and Sunwater, and in consultation with the Toowoomba Regional Council.

While recent rain has bolstered short term water supplies, this package is vital to providing drought resilience for Southern Downs’ drinking water supply. The drought resilience package includes the following activities:

  • early construction works to augment local supplies
  • investigative activities for the proposed Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline
  • investigations into new water supplies and opportunities.

Proposed Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline

Public consultation has now closed.
Feedback from the community will help the department understand what’s important to members of the local community and will be considered as part of the decision on whether or not to proceed with the project.

The proposed pipeline would extend approximately 109km from the existing Wivenhoe to Toowoomba pipeline and deliver raw water from Wivenhoe Dam to Warwick.

Seqwater is leading the planning and preparatory activities, such as geotechnical investigations, surveys, environment and heritage assessments, and detailed design.

The pipeline could connect with the Toowoomba satellite towns of Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton, providing those communities with a secure and reliable water source.

The preparatory works phase including the community consultation is anticipated to be completed in the first half of 2022, after which the Queensland Government will make a decision on whether or not to proceed.

Water resource investigations

Southern Downs Regional Council investigations into groundwater flow rates, sustainability and impacts on other water users will inform the potential for developing new local bore fields.

Sunwater is also investigating efficiency and innovation opportunities at Leslie Dam, including testing water market interest and potential to reduce water losses at the dam.

Project assessments

In 2020 Seqwater completed a feasibility study (PDF, 3.9MB) on options for a pipeline to deliver water to Warwick. The Queensland Government has directed Seqwater to complete the detailed design process for the pipeline by April 2022, to ensure that the pipeline can quickly progress to construction if necessary.

Progress to-date

Southern Downs Regional Council has tested new bores around Warwick with good yields and water quality, and which will be integrated into the existing supply arrangements.  In addition, Council’s pumps for access to part of the Leslie Dam dead storage have arrived on-site, and design work is in progress for its installation.

The recommissioned bores at Allora are currently being used by Southern Downs Regional Council for its road construction works.

Seqwater’s pre-construction activities for the pipeline are all proceeding to schedule.

More information

Last updated: 18 Mar 2022