Water used to be simple.
It’s a refreshing drink for people and plants, largely free or cheap despite being essential to life.
Population growth, pollution, climate change and the threat of scarcity have turned water into something far more complex.
The big question this week is: how do we solve Guyra’s water security issue?
And there have been a lot of other questions too.
What will Guyra’s growth be like in the future? What about industry? Will new industry be self sufficient with water? Or will they rely on the town’s supply as the first tomato farm does?
So let’s stick to the facts.
The older tomato farm sucks 39 per cent of our annual water usage.
We also know that in the past 10 years annual demand has exceeded our source’s “safe yield”.
And not by a little, we’ve been exceeding this by nearly half.
It also appears at the stage we have two real options to move forward.
We either raise the wall at the Guyra Dam or build the $9 million Malpas Dam pipeline.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall made a strong argument while addressing the media earlier this week.
He wants to tackle Guyra’s water problem with the pipeline and has launched a petition into the community to gather support.
Mr Marshall said the Malpas pipeline project was important to address a significant boom in Guyra both with the tomato farm and with residential growth.
The quality of water in Guyra is also a pressing issue.
“We’ve all tasted the dirty water in the past,” local shop owner Dave Mills said earlier this week.
Mr Mills backed our local MP’s push to get funding for the pipeline.
However, council candidate Simon Murray said raising the Guyra Dam wall was also a perfectly viable option.
Mr Murray said pumping water up the hill would present significant ongoing electricity costs.
As for the next step? We want to see what you want.
So get behind Mr Marshall’s petition because now is your chance to have a say on the future water security of our town and our region.