The Glen Innes Severn Council purchased the New South Wales-based Glen Innes quarry and surrounding land in July 2011. In the years prior, the council had investigated numerous water storage options to address the town’s need for improved water security; the town’s previous main water resource, Beardy Weir, only had the capacity to supply the town for five months.
However, the purchase of the quarry and surrounding land saw the council eventually address its water security issues in a unique way.
The council purchased two pits at the site and announced one would continue to supply gravel, sand and road-based aggregates and the other would primarily function as water storage to “drought-proof” the town.
Glen Innes Severn Council alternated extraction across the site’s two pits to progressively expand their volume and prepare them for water storage, with the NSW Government contributing $970,000 towards the works as part of its Water Security for Regions program.
Six years later the water storage facility not only has won local awards for innovation but has indeed “drought-proofed” the area, with reports council did not need to implement water restrictions for residents during a dry spell for the first time in 2016.
According to the Glen Innes Severn Council, for every cubic metre of basalt rock removed from the quarry, an additional 1000 litres of future water storage has been created, with the water storage set to last at least two and a half years.
According to reports, the project has also recently entered its next phase, with one of the pits being stocked with fish as part of the council’s long-term plan to create a “fresh tourism aspect” for the region.