AGL Energy Limited (AGL) has announced that up to two megalitres of freshwater per day will be made available for local use as part of its proposed Extracted Water Management Strategy for the Gloucester Gas Project.

Last month AGL announced that it will invest in a desalination plant to remove salt from produced water that is extracted during its Stage 1 gas project in Gloucester.

The local Gloucester community is encouraged to have its say on the strategy and how this desalinated water could be beneficially used for stock, irrigation and new business opportunities.

AGL’s Manager of Hydrogeology, John Ross, said ideas and feedback from regulators and the community about the proposed strategy are being sought.

“This desalinated water, which will have low levels of salt similar to drinking water, is a new, important water resource that the local community has not had before,” Mr Ross said.

“Over the last few months it has been extremely dry in Gloucester and the surrounding areas and an additional freshwater resource would come in very handy if similar conditions arise in the future.

“There are a variety of uses that this freshwater could be applied to, irrigation is an obvious one, but also new business enterprises that could benefit the area like forestry or even aquaculture.”

This week, AGL is holding two community information sessions where locals can learn about the proposed Extracted Water Management Strategy and submit their ideas or provide feedback to our experts.

“One of the questions the community has asked is what happens to excess water in times of heavy rainfall. As part of the draft strategy we propose to store as much desalinated water as possible and only release this freshwater into the Avon River after heavy rainfall events,” Mr Ross said.

In addition, AGL has publicly released the first baseline water report on the monitoring bore network at the Waukivory Pilot site. The Drilling Completion Report – Waukivory Groundwater Monitoring Bores contains baseline information that includes detailed data on the water levels and water quality from February 2012 to February 2014.

AGL has had initial discussions with the Gloucester Shire Council and government regulators regarding the draft Extracted Water Management Strategy. The community feedback and submissions will also be considered before AGL carries out further consultation with regulators. A final report will then be compiled and sent to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for approval.

Submissions close on 15 September 2014.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.