Finding Water for Palm Island
Improved long-term water storage options on Palm Island are being investigated to prevent the community from going through a cycle of droughts and water shortages.
CDM Smith was engaged by the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning to provide technical support for hydrogeological investigation works for the feasibility of an emergency public groundwater supply for Palm Island, North Queensland.
The hydrogeological investigation that has been undertaken involved a program of drilling, construction and testing of groundwater investigation wells in the northern area of the island. The objective of the investigation was to identify if a groundwater supply of sufficient quality and yield can be established to support the water demands of the island population.
CDM Smith determined drilling locations to determine the extend of the groundwater supply and undertook drilling and the analysis and modelling of the testing data for the wells.
Groundwater could potentially supply a third of the island's current water demand.
CDM Smith also investigated raising two dam walls which could also meet a third of demand, and also explored linking Bamboo Creek Dam to Minggudjamba Banbarribarra Dam (Francis Creek Dam).
The key outcomes and findings of the hydrogeological investigation conducted for Palm Island include further drilling and aquifer testing investigations are recommended to fully assess the potential for developing a viable groundwater supply to supplement the existing Palm Island public water supply.
In February the Queensland Government approved work to install a temporary desalination plant and other emergency measures for the community to tackle the recent water supply shortages. However, heavy rainfall in March brought Solomon Dam back to capacity and Banbarribarra Dam to 65 percent, allowing the opportunity to explore long-term solutions.