Inland Rail project water conservation efforts in Narromine

As the drought continues to take hold and the Narromine shire endure level three water restrictions, members of the community have become concerned about the federal project consuming the town's water supply. Photo: Zaarkacha Marlan
As the drought continues to take hold and the Narromine shire endure level three water restrictions, members of the community have become concerned about the federal project consuming the town's water supply. Photo: Zaarkacha Marlan

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has hit back at criticisms after it was revealed the Inland Rail project was souring non-portable water from a number of local farms.

As the drought continues to take hold and the Narromine shire endure level three water restrictions, members of the community have become concerned about the federal government's project consuming the town's water supply.

Inland Rail Parkes to Narromine project director Colin Forde said Inland Rail acknowledged that access to water and its responsible use was one of the most significant issues facing regional Australia.

Mr Forde confirmed Inland Rail was sourcing non-portable water from a number of locations around the area.

He also said they are also working with the local and NSW government, as well as having conversations with local landholders about their and Inland Rail water requirements.

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"An allocation of water is essential to the Inland Rail project to enable the completion of construction activities," Mr Forde said.

"As part of the final stages of the Parkes to Narromine project, Inland Rail is sourcing non-potable water from a number of locations, including private bores to limit the use of potable water."

The project director however said they are making arrangements to limit the amount of water being used.

Mr Forde said that Inland Rail was also in the process of engaging with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to assess where dust suppression activities could be reduced if there were no impacts to residents or construction safety.

"To preserve water, the Inland Rail project team has ceased all landscaping on the project and increased the use of biodegradable polymers to reduce water requirements," he said.

Currently the Inland Rail is developing a comprehensive strategy for water requirements for future parts of the projects as part of the reference design.