Water will be pumped out of the water table on the northern beaches of Brisbane and other locations in the Brisbane basin in the coming weeks as part of the Government’s plan to reduce the flow of the Brisbane River.
Key points:The Government is removing some of the flow from the Brisbane to the south of Townsville by removing more than 400m tonnes of waterThe plan is to remove the water from the river at the rate of 1,000 tonnes a day, up from 600m tonnes a weekThe Government says the plan is part of a comprehensive plan to increase the flow in the river to a level that can support sustainable fish and aquatic life.
The Queensland Government is seeking public input on the plan, which is expected to take up to four months.
“The Brisbane River is a critical source of water for Brisbane and we need to take action now to reduce its flow,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“We need to reduce water pollution and we are going to make sure that this works.”
As a state we have a duty to manage the river.
“We are a river, we are an environment, we’re an ecosystem and we all need to work together.”
The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage says the planned removal of the bulk of the river flow is due to the Government having to cut back on dredging.
“Dredging in the past has been a problem,” Environment Minister Tim Nicholls said.
“There has been some erosion of the estuary and the rivers have become very porous in some places.”
It has also become a major source of sediment that flows into the river and that is what is causing the problem.
“Mr Nicholls says the Government will reduce the river’s flow by 1,600 tonnes a year, to about 1,300 tonnes a month.”
There will be an increased flow of water, but it will be much less than the amount that we have had in the last couple of years,” he said.
Mr Nicholl says the flow will be reduced by a further 500 metres by the end of 2019.”
This is a very big reduction, it’s a really big reduction,” he added.”
What we’re trying to do is balance the current flow and to reduce that flow to a lower level.
“The Government has already cut water levels at the mouth of the Yarra River, which flows into Townsville.
Mr Palaszzczuk says the reduction in flow will reduce flood risks, improve the water quality and allow the city to focus on other issues such as improving its roads.”
To be able to maintain a healthy water quality, we need the river flows to remain in a safe, good state,” she said.
The Government hopes to reduce levels of sediment by as much as 50 per cent by 2023.”
A large part of that is due just to a lack of control and a lack and a lot of the sediment in the Yarr River is in places that are really vulnerable to flooding,” Mr Nicholls explained.”
That’s not to say that it won’t be there in the future, but we’re looking at reducing that sediment and the flow to allow us to be more responsive to the river.
“Topics:government-and-politics,water-management,environment,brisbane-4000,townsville-4810,bristol-5010Contact Anna HoyleMore stories from Queensland