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.

Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline

The Queensland Government has confirmed funding for the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline, with construction to start soon on long-term water security for the Southern Downs and several Toowoomba communities.

The pipeline will deliver raw water from Wivenhoe Dam to Warwick and provide drought contingency supply for Southern Downs Regional Council towns. It will also provide a permanent, secure and reliable water source for four Toowoomba Regional Council towns along the pipeline route: Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton.

Seqwater has delivered detailed designs for the pipeline and will continue working with stakeholders in preparing to move into the delivery phase of the project.

The department will continue to engage with Toowoomba Regional Council and Southern Downs Regional Council to work through final details, to ensure the project delivers the best possible outcomes for those communities.

Subject to that engagement, the department will release a document outlining further information.

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.

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 has completed its investigative works for the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline, and will continue working with stakeholders in preparing to move into the delivery phase of the project. Community consultation was held from February to March 2022. Feedback showed that the communities of both local councils were largely supportive of the pipeline.

More information

Last updated: 14 Jun 2022