Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says work is continuing to find water for drought-affected communities in the state’s north.

“This week I announced a $500,000 State Government grant for Glen Innes Severn Council to cover the cost of commissioning an emergency town water supply bore at the Eerindii Ponds,” Mr Marshall said.

“Council has been working with Water NSW for months to try and establish a back-up groundwater supply which could be used should the town supply run dry during the drought.

“Not in living memory has the township of Glen Innes experienced such a dire water situation as seen during 2019.

“Through the efforts of council bore drilling around Glen Innes has yielded positive results with a hole at the Eerindii Ponds providing up to six litres of potable water per second.”

The water will be immediately pumped into quarry storage nearby before being sent through the water treatment plant and into the town system for potable use. The project builds on the early work already completed by council and will increase the water supply options available to the community of Glen Innes and their resilience to drought events in the future.

Meanwhile, the hunt for a viable emergency groundwater supply for Armidale and Guyra has ramped up thanks to $500,000 State Government grant to Armidale Regional Council to continue test drilling for bores.

“Despite the recent widespread rain, council must continue to look for ways to supplement the Malpas Dam water supply,” Mr Marshall said.

“This investigation into viable groundwater options for Armidale and Guyra potable water supply could possibly be among the most important fact-finding missions the council has undertaken.”

To date the council has put down a number of test bores around Armidale and Guyra, but due to geography has had only marginal success locating sites which could provide a beneficial yield.

In Armidale, test bores at O’Dell Street and along Rockvale Road are looking promising, but more investigation is needed to see if they will provide enough water to supplement the city’s supply should Malpas Dam run dry.

“The situation at Guyra is more promising with council currently in the process of connecting two successful bores, one at the Showground and another at Izzeard Park, to the town’s water treatment plant which is great news for that community,” Mr Marshall said.

“It’s expected in coming weeks water drillers will be back at Guyra and testing two further holes which show early signs of significant yield.”

The NSW Nationals in Government are still treating the region’s water situation as a serious emergency. While the recent rains have provided relief for large areas of the region, the drought continues with Malpas Dam still only sitting at 46.26 per cent.

“I’m pleased to see council will proceed with the $12 million upgrade of the pipeline from Armidale to Puddledock Dam, turning Puddledock into a back-up emergency supply,” Mr Marshall said.