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4 October 2001

NSW first for Lightning Ridge and Walgett area

The Dungalear Bore Scheme, which saves 440 megalitres of water per year and includes an ingenious design that is unique in NSW, will be officially opened during Water Week 2001. Landholders and interested people are invited to attend the Dungalear Bore Field Day on "Dungalear" (45 km north of Walgett) at 10am on Thursday, October 18.

An integral part of the Scheme is a NSW first: a cooling grid suspended in a ground tank which cools the bore water as it travels through a system of parallel tubes.

Department of Land and Water Conservation Engineer and designer of the Scheme, Steve Cheal says there were many benefits in capping and piping the Dungalear Bore.

"Much of the flow from the Dungalear Bore (16 litres per second or 500 megalitres per year) was wasted by evaporation as it travelled through 60 kilometres of open bore drains onto six neighbouring properties," Mr Cheal said.

"The bore drains were time-consuming and costly to maintain and the uncontrolled flow led to problems with salinity, weeds, feral animals and the long-term reduction of flow and pressure from the Great Artesian Basin.

"The six landholders involved formed the Dungalear Landcare Group. Department of Land and Water Conservation staff worked with the group to design and oversee the construction of an economical and hydraulically sound water scheme," Mr Cheal said.

Landholders received financial assistance from the Cap and Pipe the Bores Scheme, WEST 2000 and the Rural Assistance Authority to construct the $550,000 scheme. An 80 kilometre network of pipes now delivers water to 42 watering points spread across the six properties.

The bore water had to be cooled from its natural temperature of 58C to less than 45C, before it could travel through the polypipe network.

The problem led to the design and construction of a NSW first: the water is cooled as it travels through a system of parallel stainless steel tubes, suspended in a ground tank. Another unique feature of the system is that the natural bore pressure delivers all water. There are no pumps at all.

"As well as reducing water use to just two litres per second, which is a saving of 14 litres per second, landholders are experiencing many benefits now that clean water is available at fixed points on their properties," Mr Cheal said.

"Clean water for stock leads to improved stock productivity and less chemicals are required for crop-spraying. Abundant, clean domestic water means an improved quality of life.

"Water is now piped to where it is needed, which means improved flexibility, property management and management of total grazing pressure. In addition, the bore drains no longer need to be maintained, saving landholders time and money.

"Pressure in the Great Artesian Basin has also been restored, with an increase of 35kPa in the 12 months since the completion of scheme," Mr Cheal said.

Landholders in the local area and interested people are invited to attend the Dungalear Field Day to learn more about capping and piping artesian bores, inspect the Dungalear Bore Scheme, and celebrate its official opening.

The Field Day will be held at 10am on Thursday, October 18 at "Dungalear". Interested people are asked to RSVP to the Department of Land and Water Conservation's Condobolin office on (02) 6895 2033 by October 10.

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