Qld, Cloncurry to ship in water by train
Qld, Cloncurry to ship in water by train
The Australian, October 06, 2008
AN outback Queensland town is preparing to transport in drinking water by rail as a drought sucks the last of its dams dry.

Cloncurry mayor Andrew Daniels surveys a drying creek in the Queensland outback town.
The first water tanker could arrive in the northwest town of Cloncurry, population 2400, as early as next week.

There are plans to rail up to 12 million litres of potable water to the town, between Mount Isa and Townsville, which has watched helplessly as its supplies have dried up.

"We've been talking with QR (Queensland Rail) and we're basically going to rail about 160,000 litres of water a day from Mount Isa to Cloncurry," Cloncurry Shire mayor Andrew Daniels said.

A spokesman for QR said its subsidiary ARG Ltd offered to transport water free of charge from Mt Isa using water tankers.

With dam levels sitting at record lows and limited access to other fresh water sources, the town considered extreme measures for accessing water, including drawing water from mines.

Stephen Cantwell, group executive general manager of QR Freight, said it had identified surplus tankers that were available until at least Christmas to rail water into the town.

The water will be transported from Mt Isa to Cloncurry using three 45,000 capacity regional freight water tankers, Mr Cantwell said.

Mr Cantwell said that ARG was also assessing the suitability of a further 13, 25,000 litre tankers.

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