The Lockyer Valley and Somerset region is one of the most productive farming areas in Queensland, with significant comparative advantages and the potential to expand greatly. The Lockyer Valley supplies most of Australia's vegetables during the winter months and typically accounts for 28% of Queensland's total horticultural production.
The lack of sustainable and reliable water, rather than land availability, is regarded as the primary limiting factor in production within the Lockyer Valley.
Water that is secure and reliable will allow irrigators to plan and plant with confidence and provides the greatest returns. It also enables intensive production and investment including in plant nurseries, turf farms, meat production and processing, quarrying and education and research.
Without increasing water supply and reliability in the Lockyer Valley and Somerset, a significant increase in agricultural output will be unlikely. If the reliability of existing water supply were to decline, a fall in output and increased unemployment could result.
Seven key benefits of the Lockyer Valley and Somerset Water Security Scheme have been identified, these are:
The Detailed Business Case, prepared by Jacobs Australia, includes detailed economic cost-benefit analysis of the proposed project. Key economic benefit highlights of the project are:
The economic benefits of the scheme have been shown to outweigh the cost. The scheme benefit cost ratios and net present values are:
The project also has the ability to create recreation and tourism opportunities for the region via year round use of existing waterways.
Atkinsons Dam, Lake Dyer and Lake Clarendon are not able to be used for recreation in times of drought due to ongoing very low water levels. The Detailed Business Case, prepared by Jacobs Australia, predicts that if these dams are activated with a reliable water supply the result is:
The Detailed Business Case and a number of relevant research reports, prepared by expert consultants are available to download for those are interested in further reading about the detailed numbers, statistics and feasibility of the project
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