COOMA-Monaro Shire Council has given the go ahead for the construction of Lake Wallace storage dam, a move set to secure a long term water supply for Nimmitabel residents.
Councillors unanimously voted in favour of accepting the development proposal for the 320 mega litre facility at the, August 11, council meeting, effectively ensuring the town will have a reliable source of water in prolonged drought periods.
The dam will be located six kilometres south of Nimmitabel and will supplement the town's current water supply.
Funding for the project was guaranteed earlier this year when the then Acting Premier and current Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services, Andrew Stoner, visited the proposed site and committed $5.3 million in funding.
Council's decision comes as welcome news for the residents of Nimmitabel who were placed on level six water restrictions in January and are currently on level three restrictions.
President of the Nimmitabel Advancement Group, Richard Lawson, said the ongoing water restrictions have been a difficult time for residents but there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.
"The big hurdles are all over for the dam's approval, it will hopefully mean residents are not subject to level six water restrictions in the future," Mr Lawson said.
"Residents have had a difficult time with the uncertainty surrounding water supply but now the town will be better for the dam."
It does not require the construction of significant new water reticulation infrastructure as its location will be upstream of the existing water supply intake on the MacLaughlin River.
The current water supply is sourced from the MacLaughlin River and two bores, however this does not provide the water security Nimmitabel requires.
At full capacity the facility will consume an area of about 15 hectares with construction involving an earthen wall dam on Pigring Creek.
Mr Lawson said council deserves to be congratulated for getting the project off the ground and passed the development process.
"Council has done a tremendous effort. They deserve a pat on the back."
"The new dam will allow for Nimmitabel's water supply to be stabilised and avoid the ongoing problems we have experienced in town."
A starting date for construction is unknown, however once work commences a 12 month timeframe is envisaged to complete Lake Wallace.