Rous will debate the motion on rain water tanks again in its December meeting.
Rous will debate the motion on rain water tanks again in its December meeting.

Can water tanks prevent the need for a dam at Dunoon?

CAN installing water tanks in most households be an alternative or a complementary measure to a proposed Dunoon dam? Rous decided to investigate it.

Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson raised a motion at the latest Rous County Council meeting to address the issue of water storage in the area.

Although the motion was not passed, it was agreed by councillors to attend a workshop this month and then vote on the issue in their December meeting.

Rain water overflows into a tank.
Rain water overflows into a tank.

Mayor Richardson, who was one of the councillors representing Byron Shire at Rous County Council, said the topic needs further debate before a decision on a possible dam was taken.

“The motion was trying to get all the facts, evidence and comparative data in front of the wider community — and the board of Rous — before we start to show any preference to what future-proofing program we go with,” he said.

“It was basically to seek reports on the cost and viability of what it may look like for water tanks, demand management and recycled purified water to drink.

“Let’s get all this evidence on the table so we can all look into this rationally and reasonably and then we can truly cost things next to each other.”

Read more >> Will every new house have a 10,000L water tank?

Cr Richardson said the data was needed to dispel myth and factual errors about what was possible in the area.

“Every household can’t have a rainwater tank for various reasons, but this is what the report should like at: what would a tank in every household would look like, at what cost, how big they could be what impact it could have on the need for another dam, who would pay for it and what are the implications, and what would be the regulations,” he said.

“It’s very easy to say ‘why don’t we all have a water tank’ but Rous hasn’t answered that question clearly enough.

VISION: Mayor Simon Richardson.
VISION: Mayor Simon Richardson.

Mayor Richardson, a Greens councillor, was ‘agnostic’ on whether a dam in Dunoon, water tanks, or other mix of options would secure the future of water supply in the area.

“I know what my values system would prefer, and what my ideology would prefer, and what I think best practice is, and it’s not necessarily a dam. But I don’t want to make a decision (based on) my ideology, my gut feeling or my heart, I want up-to-date, evidence-based decision making,” he said.

Rous County Council will debate the motion again in its December meeting.