Drought, fire and water restrictions have been the heartbreaking story of 2019. As we head into a new decade, we can only hope conditions across the country continue to ease and those whose lives have been devastated by the extreme conditions recover quickly.
In times like these we need good news stories and today we are happy to bring you one from Cobar where our specialist team are busy installing two High Voltage pumps to secure a local Mines future water supply.
This is the story of a town mere months away from running out of water and the flow-on effects of a mining town without water.
Burrendong Dam At 1.6% Capacity
Reports started coming out late last year about the dwindling water levels in Burrendong Dam along with predictions of when the towns it supplies could run out of water. Last week it was reported that dam levels were down to 1.6% and Dubbo may run out of water by May; Cobar by September. Severe water restrictions are already in place and the government has assured Cobar a range of measures (installing additional pumps and diverting water from other dams) will ensure it receives at least 80% of its allocated water for 2020.
However, there is another consequence when a mining town is on the brink of running out of water.
Cobar Is A Mining Town: Mines Need Water
According to the 2016 Census, Copper Ore Mining and Gold Ore Mining are the industries that employ the most number of workers in Cobar.
So what’s the problem?
Water is essential to the mining process and some of the mines in Cobar draw their water from Burrendong Dam. With water at such a critical levels, heavier restrictions have already started to affect production and jobs in local mines, if the dam reaches 1%, all industry will stop and these local mines cannot operate. if the mines don’t operate, Cobar and its industry will be affected and cannot survive.
With water allocation to the mines already cut by a third, another solution was desperately needed. Fortunately, it has been found.
Historic Mine Provides Water Supply
Historic Cobar Mine closed 100 years ago, but it looks like it will prove to be an invaluable resource to the miners of today. It’s disused shafts, running more than 400 metres underground, are full of invaluable water and the owners of the Mine have just received approval to pump the water out.
This is where we come in. BRIKEN Group is so pleased to be working on this project, installing the all-important remote pumping station that will transfer the water from the Historic Cobar Mine over to the Mine 10km away.
Early estimates suggest there’s enough water in the historic mine to keep the local Mine running for up to three years leaving more water available for the town and keeping locals employed for longer.