Research could dry up

BALLINA Shire Council's decision to cut the mains water supply to properties around Pimlico and Uralba could mean the end of an agriculture research station.

The New South Wales Department of Primary Industry's Duck Creek Research Station has about 200 cows that are part of an ongoing industry research project.

Manager Graeme Laing said rainwater tanks would be fine for the cottage on the property but because they are only half a metre above sea level conditions are not suitable for dams for livestock.

"Without adequate fresh water we would not be able to run our livestock operations," he said.

Mr Laing said they were in talks with the council and he was hopeful they could come to a satisfactory outcome.

The research station is the largest user of water in the area where the council has decided not to replace the old mains water pipe.

A report to the council said the Smith Dr water mains was in a decrepit condition and replacing it would cost the council about $1 million.

Mr Laing said when a survey about water use was conducted, nobody had spoken to him, only field station staff, and the council "may not have understood the full ramifications" of the water being cut off to the research facility.