FILE PHOTO: Tenterfield Dam earlier this year in April. The dam has decreased to 33% capacity.
FILE PHOTO: Tenterfield Dam earlier this year in April. The dam has decreased to 33% capacity. Jackie Munro

New bore sites to ease Tenterfield water shortage

WITH continuing dry weather and depleting Tenterfield town water supply, there has been a glimmer of hope for Tenterfield Shire Council.

The council, in conjunction with a team of specialists from across the country, has identified four sites worth of further exploration as potential bore sites to supplement Tenterfield Dam, which is currently sitting at only 33 per cent capacity, despite input from the Shirley Park Bore and little evaporation.

The four sites were identified as the result of a Skype meeting council hosted on July 5 with representatives from multiple specialist private companies and government agencies, to discuss drilling for water and how to step through the extremely complex process.

The meeting, which ran for more than two and a half hours, involved exploration geologists from as far as Tasmania, hydrogeologists from Sydney, a drilling company and Natural Resources Access Regulator representatives from Dubbo, Department of Industry Water staff from Coffs Harbour, Department of Health from Tamworth, consultant engineers from Ballarat and Caringbah as well as council's specialist personnel.

Tenterfield Shire Council CEO Terry Dodds said the discovery was good news.

"What became very clear was the rich geographical history and huge variety of underground formations in the general area, some of which is often commonly described as fractured granite," Mr Dodds said.

"Some of it is not granite at all, or even the common term used by drillers and explorers in the past which was 'blue granite'. It's actually a rock called Rhyodacite.

"There appears to be potential underground water sources in four areas which will now require the approval process to be enacted prior to physical investigation involving test bores.

"Fingers crossed."