Water supply secured for NT’s long term future

Finke River Gorge in the NT represents an important piece of water

The Northern Territory Government and Power and Water Corporation have unveiled a new plan to lock in a high-quality drinking water supply for Territorians. At the same time, they will maintain Manton Dam and ensure it remains available for recreational use.

The project has two components. One is the Adelaide River Off-Stream Water Storage (AROWS) project and the Manton Dam Return to Service (RTS).

Manton Dam RTS is the critical first stage of the identified solution. It will provide an additional 7,300ML of water per year to the Darwin region.

The AROWS project will secure and improve Darwin’s water security by supplying up to 67.5GL of additional water each year.

Minister for Water Security Eva Lawler said securing a safer, more reliable and sustainable water supply for Darwin is essential for the region’s future growth and economic prosperity.

“It is important that we develop sustainable solutions that protect our environment and maintain our great Territory lifestyle,” said Lawler. “Manton Dam RTS and AROWS are economically viable solutions to provide water security to the Darwin region for the next 50 years and beyond. Power and Water Corporation has identified Manton Dam as the preferred short-term water source in its Darwin Region Water Supply Strategy. They have already undertaken significant preliminary work to inform the design and delivery of the project.”

Water supply for NT vital to assess

The detailed business case investigated the two short-listed options identified in the preliminary assessment to meet the region’s future water supply requirements.

After a comprehensive assessment, Manton Dam RTS and AROWS were identified to be developed in two stages. The first stage will see Manton Dam RTS provide a short-term water supply with a development timeframe of three to four years. The second stage is AROWS, which will provide a long-term water supply. Its development time frame is estimated to be seven to ten years.

To make sure Territorians have continued use of Manton Dam for boating, water sports and fishing, Power and Water Corporation will be tasked to treat the water before consumption.

Power and Water will now work on a plan as to how to treat the water. They will also work out how much that will cost annually.

Water supply, then water quality

A Catchment Management Plan will be developed to ensure that water quality safety is protected over the long term.

Chief Executive Officer of Amateur Fishermens Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT), David Ciaravolo, said, “Manton Dam is stocked with barramundi and is a safe fishing location for families. We welcome the news that these important fishing experiences will be able to continue once the dam is brought back online.

“Manton Dam is a key public asset. The government has ensured that diverse economic, social and cultural benefits can be leveraged to benefit the community.”

An assessment of the environmental and social impacts of the project will be undertaken. Further stakeholder and community engagement will be carried out. A detailed design of the infrastructure components will be delivered.

Manton Darn RTS is the critical first stage of the identified solution. It will provide an additional 7,300 megalitres of water per year to the Darwin region.

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