with the prospect of just 10 to 14 months' worth of water and no
rainfall on the horizon, the NSW government has begun work to secure
an emergency water source for the population of 19,000.
drilling has begun to locate a suitable source of groundwater for the
town. Without a major rainfall event in Queensland or eastern NSW,
bore water might be the only solution to replace water from the
lakes, which have become "pretty big sandpits" with dregs
of rapidly deteriorating quality, said mayor Wincen Cuy.
some residents fear that the government's push for bore water signals
the start of the decommissioning of the lakes. Located about 100
kilometres from the frontier town, they are a lifeline to the
community for water supplies and as an economic driver to the region.
of the Broken Hill/Menindee Lakes We Want Action group are also
demanding answers over a major drawdown of water from the lakes about
a year ago and a lack of communication from the government.
Minister Kevin Humphries said the NSW government takes the current
water shortage in Broken Hill very seriously.
are looking at long-term solutions for a more reliable water source
for Broken Hill, something which should have been done years ago,"
the water shortage is a potential crisis, it is reminiscent of the
millennium drought, Mr Cuy said.
was supposed to be one in 100 but here we are 10 years later with
another one, which could potentially be worse," he said.
part of managing the lakes ino the future, he said any plan needs to
take into account the apparent increasing frequency and severity of
droughts in the region.