Sustainable water practices, a top priority for Tarong power stations

14 January 2020

As we head into the New Year, communities across Queensland grapple with the effects of long-term drought conditions. The adverse impacts the state’s persistent dry weather and drought is having on our communities, particularly in the South Burnett, is front of mind for our business.

Water is an essential requirement for thermal electricity generation, as the water is used for cooling and steam production at the power station. The Tarong power stations have access to two sources of water:

  • a high priority allocation from Lake Boondooma which is the primary source of water for the station; and
  • an allocation from Lake Wivenhoe, or the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme.

Stanwell is mindful of the current and future impacts of the drought on the South Burnett community, and is focused on how we can help to mitigate these impacts with respect to the Tarong power stations’ operations. We are doing this by:

  • Lake Boondooma provides a source of drinking water to the town of Kingaroy and also supplies a number of medium priority users, primarily irrigators, along the Boyne River. In order to ease the pressure on this resource, Stanwell has initiated a strategy to reduce usage from Lake Boondooma for 2019/20. This will ensure that the South Burnett Regional Council continues to have access to drinking water.
  • In recent years, we have evolved our operations to ensure sustainable water management activities are carried out at all operational sites, by implementing various water conservation initiatives. Such initiatives include recycling effluent water and stormwater, as well as reusing water from the ash dam. Stanwell’s decision-making regarding water takes a balanced approach, taking consideration of the needs and priorities of other users and the community, our operations and National Electricity Market conditions.
  • Stanwell personnel regularly meet with the Meandu Barker Creek Water Advisory Committee which includes downstream users and irrigators, to understand their priorities and discuss Stanwell’s long-term water strategy.
  • We are currently working with Seqwater to develop a strategy to ensure Tarong power stations can use purified recycled water once (and if) the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme is re-commissioned.

We are also investigating further water saving initiatives, and will continue to engage with the Queensland Government, local communities and other users to ensure responsible and sustainable use of water resources.

To learn more about our water practices at Tarong power stations click here.

Header image by Denise Keelan

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