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Water supply runs short in Manjimup
Water supply runs short in Manjimup

Manjimup shire president Wade DeCampo has blamed the town’s water shortage on the Water Corporation.

On Friday it emerged Manjimup was running out of water after months of low rainfall reduced dam levels to 28 per cent capacity.

A total sprinkler ban will take effect from September 1 until November 30 and more water will be carted from Pemberton.

Cr De Campo said the council had asked the Water Corporation for several years to improve Manjimup’s water security with limited success.

‘‘We have brought up our water issues in Northcliffe, Walpole, Quinninup and Manjimup but nothing has happened,’’ he said.

‘‘We are the victims of projects being put on hold due to other large Water Corporation projects outside our region taking priority.

‘‘What we seem to have in our area is a short term fix for everything and now it’s come and surprised the Water Corporation because of low rainfall.’’

Water carting from Big Brook Dam is expected to start in the next few weeks and the Water Corporation is working with the Department of Water and private dam owners to identify alternative water sources.

Cr De Campo says the best solution is an integrated system where the town is supplied by surface water runoff and high flowing rivers such the Donnelly and Warren rivers during times of low rainfall.

‘‘If Manjimup is to become a Supertown we need to get the basics right and a sustainable water supply,’’ he said.

‘‘Trucking water might be the cheapest option at the moment, but it’s not the best option in the long term.’’

Carting would provide a small but critical 5 per cent of Manjimup’s annual water demand of 700 million litres, with dam levels at just 529 million litres.

Water Corporation regional manager Scott Moorhead said securing water supply in Manjimup was a priority for the Water Corporation.

A pipeline connecting the Bridgetown and Manjimup schemes would be constructed, subject to approvals, by spring 2013.

Other options are a new bore to service Manjimup and other nearby towns, but this would take longer than a pipeline to the Bridgetown Regional Scheme.