Cotter to Googong Bulk Transfer
In April 2005 Icon Water began work to implement the Cotter Googong Bulk Transfer program, an innovative way of utilising existing infrastructure to increase the ACT's water supply in the immediate future. The scheme has been operational since 2005/06.
Icon Water developed the scheme during its comprehensive study of Future Water Options that was completed in early 2005. The scheme works by drawing water from the reservoirs in the Cotter Catchment, treating it at the Mt Stromlo Treatment Plant and after meeting town demand, using the largely existing water supply distribution network to transfer surplus water to the Googong Reservoir — up to 150 Megalitres per day.
It is estimated that up to 12 gigalitres (GL) can be transferred each year from the higher yield Cotter Catchment for storage at Googong, which with a capacity to store up to 125 GL, was running low due to increased use during the drought and the 2003 bushfires. Construction work involved building a bypass pipeline around the Googong Water Treatment Plant. Further work to fully optimise the transfer system includes automation of the transfer control, refurbishing the Cotter Pump Station and augmenting the Mt Stromlo Water Treatment Plant.
The less water we use in the city, the more we can transfer to help fill up Googong Reservoir. In the first two years of operation, despite drought conditions, over 11 GL was able to be transferred, the majority during the autumn and winter period of 2006. Another nearly 9 GL was transferred in 2009/10.