Sealed shared path in the foreground with eastern section of Lake Albert in the background


A boost for Council’s Lake Albert pipeline project

Published: 12 Oct 2023 10:11am

A step forward for the Lake Albert pipeline project, with Wagga Wagga City Council having been granted a specific purpose water licence for the lake by the NSW Government.

The licence will allow Council to pump 1800 megalitres of water annually from the Murrumbidgee River to Lake Albert once a pipeline has been constructed.

Work on the project to deliver a solution to the periodic drying of Lake Albert, which has occurred for at least 75 years, is currently in the planning and design phase.

General Manager Peter Thompson said Council has been working with a consultant to identify options for the pipeline route and an access point to take water from the river.

“The focus is currently on using the former Riverina Water offtake point and designing a single pipeline route, after other options were considered and dismissed,” Mr Thompson said.

“Once the design work is done, we will be able to do a costing for the project.

“We don’t have a delivery date for when construction work will begin or be completed.”

Daytime photo of Lake Albert with jetski being ridden in the distance and houses on the far bank visitle

Funding for the project will need to be identified, which will likely exceed $7 million for the design, procurement of easements, water licences and construction of the pipeline from the river to Lake Albert.

Mr Thompson said given the potential cost of the project, Council will continue to apply for grant funds.

“An Expression of Interest has been submitted for the Growing Regions Program which is currently undetermined.

Council staff will continue to work closely with Riverina Water to further define the design, construction and long-term management of this infrastructure.