Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline

On 14 June 2022, the Queensland Government confirmed more than $300 million funding for the Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline project.

The pipeline will take water from Wivenhoe Dam and provide a permanent water supply to 3400 residents in the four Toowoomba Regional Council towns of Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton.

It will provide drought contingency supply to 24 000 residents in the Southern Downs Regional Council towns of Warwick, Allora and Yangan, and to Stanthorpe and Killarney, by carting.

Why it’s needed

Despite recent rainfalls and Leslie Dam currently being at full capacity, Warwick frequently experiences serious drought conditions.

It would cost more than $48 million each year to cart water to Warwick, and need about 570 heavy truck movements per day, travelling over 100 kilometres from Wyaralong Dam through Cunningham’s Gap. It’s costly and not logistically feasible for a town of 15 000 people.

The Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline is a necessary part of a suite of measures that will provide sustainable water security to the Southern Downs region.

The Southern Downs drought resilience package includes new water supplies plus a number of other investigations and opportunities that give the Southern Downs affordable and secure water supplies.

Construction

Seqwater will construct, own and operate the pipeline which is expected to be ready by the end of 2026.

Route

The new 109 kilometre pipeline will transfer raw water from just upstream of Mount Kynoch Water Treatment Plant (Toowoomba) to Warwick Reservoir (near Leslie Dam). The water will be sourced from Wivenhoe Dam via the existing Wivenhoe to Cressbrook pipeline and other water infrastructure owned by the Toowoomba Regional Council.

The pipeline will run along existing road reserves and easements for most of its route. That’s not always possible, and there are places where the project will need to temporarily or permanently acquire part of a property for safety or efficiency reasons. Seqwater will be speaking to affected property owners as it finalises the details of the route.

Infrastructure

The major components of the project are:

  • Pipeline connection from Toowoomba Regional Council’s Pechey Pipeline (just upstream of Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant)
  • Approximately 109 kilometre pipeline from the connection point with Pechey Pipeline to the Warwick Reservoir
  • Two reservoirs at the northern end of the pipeline, each holding 3 megalitres of water
  • Offtakes at the TRC towns of Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby, Clifton, with state funding for water treatment facilities
  • One intermediate pump station and balance tank enroute
  • A pipeline connecting Allora borefield supply to the main pipeline
  • Pipeline termination at a new 15 megalitre reservoir (Warwick Reservoir), replacing Council’s existing small balance tank near Leslie Dam.

Water security

Wivenhoe Dam is part of a Seqwater water supply scheme that can provide more than 286 000 megalitres to customers in Brisbane and South East Queensland each year. This includes 10 000 megalitres that can be taken by Toowoomba Regional Council when its local supplies run low.

A volume of up to 2665 megalitres per annum required by the Southern Downs during drought is less than 1 percent of the water available from Wivenhoe Dam and is not included in the volume that Toowoomba is allowed to use. It does not impact the amount of water that Toowoomba is allowed to take from the dam.

Pipeline operation

The pipeline will be built, owned and operated by Seqwater.

The State has worked closely with the Southern Downs Regional Council to ensure that costs for operating the Pipeline when it is needed (only during droughts) are affordable for Council and its residents.

Southern Downs Regional Council will operate the pipeline in a way that doesn’t affect the water supply security for Toowoomba’s residents.

More information

Last updated: 21 Nov 2022