North West Queensland Water Pipeline

North West Queensland Pipeline Pty Ltd (NWQWP) is a wholly owned subsidiary of SunWater. Its primary assets include low-lift and high-lift pump stations, 113km of pipeline and control systems. The pipeline currently derives water from Lake Julius and transports it to the Ernest Henry Mine Reservoir and a number of minor rural users along the way.


Pipeline, pumps stations, control systems

Project Duration

Operations - July 1997


Xstrata Coal - Ernest Henry Mine
Cloncurry Shire Council


From Lake Julius to the Ernst Henry Mine Reservoir.


Design and develop a multi-user pipeline that can deliver 7,000 ML per annum and allow for a future upgrade depending on user demand.


In December 2008, the Queensland Government approved a further upgrade that includes the design and construction of a 38km extension pipeline from the NWQWP to the township of Cloncurry for domestic and industrial supply. This was in response to township’s primary storage at Chinaman Creek Dam running dry throughout the year and forcing the Cloncurry Shire Council to rail water from Mt Isa to Cloncurry as an emergency measure.

The pipeline extension includes the 38km of pipelines, a 50ML Balancing Storage outside Cloncurry, a pump station to re-pressurise to the pipeline downstream of the balancing storage, and a minor balance tank on the edge of town.

The pipeline will bring water security for the future of the town of Cloncurry, and will act as a catalyst for potential mineral development in the vicinity of Cloncurry.


Key project infrastructure for the total project includes:

  • Capacity 7,000 ML per annum
  • 113km of existing pipeline plus 38km extension
  • Low-lift pump station
  • High-lift pump station
  • Balancing Storage and Re-lift Pump Station
  • Options for further expansion and augmentation

Our Role

Design, Plan, Build, Operate, Maintain, Own