Water Minister Graham Jacobs said today that the damming of the Denmark and Styx rivers would not be explored any further as part of the Water Corporation’s drinking water source plans for the lower Great Southern region.
Dr Jacobs said Bow River would remain under consideration, along with seawater desalination and a groundwater replenishment scheme based on Marbellup Brook.
Bow River would remain because it was the most preferred of the dam options on wide-ranging parameters and should be explored as part of the ongoing process.
“Because we don’t know the very long term population for the region, what the climate will be like and many other factors, it would be irresponsible to rule out all of these options forever,” the Minister said.
“As far as the Styx and Denmark rivers are concerned, they will not be part of the ongoing evaluation process and the Bow River is ranked behind the desalination and groundwater options.”
Dr Jacobs said he had been thoroughly briefed by the Water Corporation in the past few days on all aspects of the long term regional supply options and that the Styx and Denmark rivers were to be placed further down the rankings on social, environmental and economic parameters.
“I indicated I did not want people in Denmark to be placed in a period of long term uncertainty and today I am acting on this to rule out the options for dams on the Styx and Denmark rivers,” he said.
The Minister said the Water Corporation intended presenting information on the remaining three options at a further community meeting in Denmark later this month.
“This decision is a recognition of the local public response to the corporation’s structured community consultation process. The Government has decided now is the time to rule out the Styx and Denmark rivers,” he said.
Dr Jacobs said local member and Agriculture Minister Terry Redman had been fully briefed on the Water Corporation’s views on the rankings for the various options and thanked him for the valuable input into the debate on the future water supply for the Denmark area.
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