HISTORY OF DUBBO'S WATER SUPPLY
The Driftwells are located at the cnr of Brisbane Street and Tamworth Street, South Dubbo. They are an excellent example of an early groundwater-based municipal water supply. Accessing groundwater was very important in western NSW where surface water sources often dried up for weeks and months at a time.
Dubbo’s exceptional population growth by western NSW standards eventually overwhelmed the capacity of this shallow groundwater source. The construction of a weir at the Macquarie River and the sinking of technologically advanced higher yielding small diameter boreholes sunk much deeper into the same aquifers (drifts) as the Driftwells, eventually led to the lower yielding Driftwells being de-commissioned.
The pristine condition of Driftwell No.1 and Driftwell No.2, their position within urban Dubbo, the surviving records and plans relating to their operation and construction, and the ease with which the public can view the Driftwells make them a unique source of research into early town water supplies and an excellent example of an early groundwater-based municipal water supply.
The Driftwells have played an important part in the social fabric of Dubbo and feature in many stories and anecdotes about life in a growing country town.
The building of the Driftwells and the reticulated water supply resulted in significant health, economic and social benefits for the Dubbo community, in addition to contributing to the wider understanding of groundwater-based water supplies.
Documents of Interest
Images of Interest