People paying water rates in Yass may be funding Murrumbateman’s future water supply.
In the Murrumbateman Masterplan 2031, Yass Valley Council has proposed to pipe water to Murrumbateman after the Yass Dam wall raising.
“The Masterplan Study is based on the assumption that a reliable reticulated water supply will be provided in Murrumbateman in the near future,” the study says.
A Yass resident, who did not wish to be named, said Murrumbateman should be chipping in for the wall raising.
“I think Murrumbateman should be paying their contribution… you don’t get a free ride,” he said.
Yass resident Judy Pinder said she could understand why the water would need to be pumped to the village as it was part of the Yass Valley Council area.
“I wouldn’t like to see Murrumbateman without water,” Ms Pinder said. “But why would they want our water anyway? It’s pretty yuck.”
Mayor Nic Carmody said the pipeline was only one option to provide a consistent water supply to the village.
“First and foremost the dam has been built so that people on Yass water have a secure water supply,” Cr Carmody said
“Water could be piped from Canberra, there’s no reason why it couldn’t.”
Another option, he said, would be to create off-creek storage, which was something discussed as an alternative to raising the dam wall in Yass.
With this option water would either be pumped or, during flood, would flow into a dam and serve as a catchment for the community.
Cr Carmody said the Yass community would love to share the pain of the high water rates in Yass with other residents but he said there was no guarantee a pipeline would eventuate.
“We nearly ran out of water a few years ago… we don’t want that to ever happen again,” he said.
Every new home that wants to hook up to the Yass town water supply has to pay $10,000 for the connection.
The mayor said that was why development was a good thing.
“The more people we can get to use it the more people share the burden.”
The mayor said people were becoming more water wise particularly due to the cost.
“Our water usage has dropped… we’re using less water now than we were 15 years ago,” Cr Carmody said.
He said he expected that trend to continue.
“People no longer hose down their footpaths because they’re realising that’s throwing money on the ground.”
Residents of Murrumbateman not on the town supply have to rely on tanks and bore water.
The Murrumbateman Masterplan 2031 says there is a concern that increased bore water usage by residents of large-lot subdivisions could increase salinity.
The plan states this increase in salinity has the potential to cause increased species loss.
“The reticulation of town water to these developments, either existing or new, is generally cost prohibitive,” the plan states.
There are two strategies listed that could combat the impact on the water table.
One is for households to harvest more rainwater; the other is to have onsite water recycling plants for subdivisions.
This water wouldn’t be for drinking purposes but could be used outside or inside to flush the toilet.