Mary Valley town to be front and centre for new trial
AMAMOOR has been chosen for a trial program which could revolutionise the region's water restriction laws.
Staff from Gympie Regional Council's Water Business Unit have teamed up with researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast for a Water Demand Management Trial for towns on stage three water restrictions.
Under the trial the existing stage three water restrictions will be replaced with individual property water allocations.
It is hoped these will provide consumers with more usage flexibility within the restrictions.
Amamoor has been flagged as a candidate for the trial as it relies on an unregulated water source.
Council Water Business Unit manager Stephen Jewell said their working relationship with the University of the Sunshine Coast was vital to the success of the trial.
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"USC is very enthusiastic about being involved with the project and will bring an element of rigour to the research side of the trial, as well as excellent skills in delivering projects with a strong social base,” Mr Jewell said.
"As a council, we have a responsibility to ensure our services are the best they can be for our residents - not just from a water quality perspective but also from a sustainability point of view.
"Unfortunately, water restrictions do not always achieve their desired objective, nor can their effectiveness be estimated. The impact of restrictions is only apparent in hindsight.
"Amamoor is supplied by run-of-river and is very much susceptible to long dry spells.
"Hence why we are investing time and resources on making sure the towns are supplied with quality and sustainably-sourced water.”
USC's efforts are being led by Dr Claudia Baldwin, Associate Professor of the Regional and Urban Planning and Sustainability Research Centre.
Dr Baldwin is being assisted by Dr Vicki Uhlmann, researcher in community sustainability, and Dr Helen Fairweather, senior lecturer in environmental engineering.
The council will discuss the situation with the community before the 12-month trial begins.
To support the consultation, Dr Uhlmann will circulate a community survey to better understand perspectives about water use.
The surveys will be distributed in early July to provide information before an initial community meeting later in the month.
The progress of the trial will be posted on council's website and information will be made available to the Amamoor community through a web portal, regular emails and/or SMS, and local community news updates.