The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) operates the Eastbourne Water System on Keats Island, where the existing aquifer is reliant on precipitation, over-stressed, and nearly goes dry in the summer. Seasonal decline has recently been observed to be exacerbated by low precipitation and an increase in summer vacationers to the island. The system is overtaxed and annually at risk of being unsustainable for meeting the basic water demand of the largely seasonal properties in the Eastbourne community.
To improve the water supply to the system and to ensure a safe and sustainable drinking water source for their residents, ISL undertook a feasibility study for upgrades to the Eastbourne Water System. Through review of the existing operation and performance of the system, ISL made recommendations developed in collaboration with the SCRD for improved efficiency, pressures, distribution, and storage. ISL also provided recommendations for additional groundwater supply sources based on a desktop hydrogeological study of Keats Island. The recommendations were developed in collaboration with the SCRD to ensure they were feasible given the unique locale and requirements of Eastbourne. Feedback from Eastbourne residents was solicited via a mail-out compiled by ISL’s Community Engagement team. Further testing of an existing well was completed, and sustainable yield calculations proved that adding this well to the system was prudent.
In early 2022, we were awarded the next phases of this project, which includes the siting, design, installation, and testing of three water source wells. The well drilling program kicked off in November 2022, with the wells now installed and pumping tests completed.
- Determining a realistic and attainable target volume to increase the water supply to Eastbourne.
- A target demand of 0.54 L/s was chosen based on the future and existing maximum day demand. Although this amount would not provide residents with the same volumes of water as other SCRD systems, it would represent more than double the existing average available water supply. When compared to the existing available supply, a supply deficit of 0.30 L/s was calculated that represented a reasonable goal to be achieved by means of additional wells and storage options. The supply deficit was determined in partnership with the SCRD and communicated to Eastbourne residents as an attainable volume based on the hydrogeological conditions of Keats Island.