LOOKING BACK: An aerial shot of Awoonga Dam as it spilled over in March, 2017.
LOOKING BACK: An aerial shot of Awoonga Dam as it spilled over in March, 2017. Aerial Media Gladstone

Gladstone water board planning ahead for climate change

GLADSTONE Area Water Board has revealed its concerns about the risk of climate change and its impact on the region's water supply.

While the widespread drought has had little effect on the relatively full Awoonga Dam over the past 12 months, the company said it had put measures in place to alleviate any future risks.

According to GAWBs annual report for 2017-18 in the year to June 30 the Boyne River catchment received 815mm of rain, flowing 648,000ml of water towards the dam.

It said while a large part of Queensland was experiencing the effects of the drought, the capacity of Lake Awoonga was close to or above capacity throughout the year.

"The impact of climate change and the likelihood of more extreme weather conditions in future, however, means we must maintain our focus on aligning our water, supply and management capability to meet the needs of both our current and future customers,” the report said.

"The effects of climate change and the potential impact upon our ability to supply water to our customers is a material risk.”

The report said GAWB has a Contingent Supply Strategy outlining how to respond to either significant demand increases or supply shortages due to decreasing inflows to the dam.

The strategy will be reviewed this year to ensure it can be implemented within tight time frames.

This year's report also revealed that the company's water sales revenue reached $59.42m.

In his overview for the year GAWB chairman Denis Cook also thanked former CEO Jim Grayson. Mr Grayson ended his career as chief executive officer of GAWB for 12 years in February this year.

"Under Jim's leadership, the organisation grew markedly in capability and professionalism, and made real progress towards becoming an Excellent Water Business,” Mr Cook said.

The numbers

Facts and statistics from 2017-18:

$59.42m in water sales revenue

$71.02m in total revenue

Dam capacity at June 30: 94.27%

Current dam capacity: 90%

Capital works program during 2017-18: $34.76m

2177 lost-time injury days free at June 30

Stocked Awoonga Dam with 267,542 fingerlings

Treated 12 turtles at the marine turtle rehab centre

Returned a dividend of $5.50m to Queensland Government