Thursday, 11 March 2010

Ooma (Community) Water Scheme Underway

Ochre Arch is a member / participant of what is known locally as the Ooma Water Scheme (the Scheme). In broad terms 34 farming families have signed up to receive high quality bore water from a new water bore located near the village of Garema, located between the larger towns of Forbes and Grenfell.

The Scheme was initiated by a few local landholders in response to the stresses of carting stock and domestic water during the past 7 or so dry years. Some of the key facts behind the scheme include:
  • Number of farms: 44
  • Number of water delivery points: 50
  • Water will be delivered into tanks or troughs and NOT dams, ensuring minimal water loss
  • Total maximum combined daily water delivery: 600,000 litres per day (about 0.6 of a standard Olympic swimming pool
  • Pipe type: polythene
  • Number of pumps: 3 - main one at the bore plus one each at the two transfer points
  • Total pipe length: Approximately 124 km, delivered in approximately 86 semi trailer loads
  • Cost of the scheme: Approximately $1.2 M
  • Funding: All except for $25,000 (State Government grant to cover the cost of the main pump at the bore) is being provided by the individual landholders (including us!) with the share determined based on daily usage request.
Here, courtesy of scheme members Adam and Claire Nicholson, are two photographs showing the amount of polythene pipe currently on their place pending completion of the scheme. What you can see represents about one third of the total pipe being used in the scheme.

Here on Ochre Arch we've 'signed up' for 10,000 litres per day, which is guaranteed to be delivered over an 18 hour period. This will be sufficient for approximately 2,000 sheep during hot conditions, or 200 cattle.
Installation has commenced, with Ochre Arch being 'first cab off the rank' in terms of pipe laying. It will be several months before the whole scheme is operational. We are pretty excited about being involved in the Scheme as it provided us with not only permanent water, but also high quality water for our stock.