Urannah Dam – Smart Water for Queensland
The proposed Urannah Dam project offers Queensland the opportunity to showcase irrigation in the new millennium.
Old irrigation practices and technologies like flood irrigation, over application, mass vegetation clearing, rising water tables and salinity represent Dumb Water.
These have been replaced by new Smart Water techniques like trickle & centre pivot irrigation, mulching, agro forestry and water table management.
The Urannah project can be a magnificent example of large scale sustainable irrigation – showcasing Smart Water …..efficient agricultural and irrigation practices for the new millennium.
WHAT MAKES URANNAH DAM UNIQUE ?
- Low levels of water diversion in the catchment – currently Urannah’s catchment is only developed to 4% of available water flows – and after the construction of the dam this will rise to only 18%. Some areas of the Murray Darling Basin are trying to reduce allocation back to below 90% of available flows.
- Green field development – but in close proximity to existing industries – Urannah would be a Greenfield irrigation development, but is within 100km of the existing sugar industry in the Burdekin and Horticulture industry in Bowen – resulting in faster uptake of water by industry.
- Easy Organic Conversion – being a greenfield site used only for grazing purposes would enable land around Collinsville to be readily converted to certified organic status. Smart Water for Smart Farming.
- Wet Tropics water catchment – Dry Tropics agricultural area – the water that will be stored in Urannah comes from the wet tropics rain forest areas surrounding Eungella. The water will be used in the dry tropical areas surrounding Collinsville. The perfect horticultural and agricultural scenario.
- Opportunities for the Indigenous Community – the Urannah Dam site is owned by the Birri Gubba people who are committed to seeing the dam built to create meaningful opportunities for their people…..jobs for their kids.
- Redundant Infrastructure In Collinsville – the town of Collinsville once housed 5000 people – and has all the community infrastructure(housing, hospitals, schools etc) to cater for this population. Today there are 1800 people in Collinsville. Urannah Dam would bring the population back – without requiring the construction of a single new school or hospital bed.
- Smart Water for many uses – Urannah is ideally placed to supply water for many types of different activities including industrial as well as farming activities:
- Smart Farming like organic horticulture and organic sugar production;
- Coal mining in the Bowen Basin – future coal development in the Bowen Basin is constrained by lack of water supply;
- Future Power Generation at Collinsville
- The perfect Dam Site – the Urannah Dam site is located in a deep valley which would produce a dam with almost the same capacity as Burdekin Falls Dam, but it will only flood 20% of the country that Burdekin Dam covers.