A call to upgrade two water catchments for storage and security has returned to the spotlight.
Member for Murray Helen Dalton last week called on the state government to investigate the potential for expanding Lake Coolah near Narrandera so as to be used as an MIA water source.
She said she would like to see a feasibility study conducted into converting the lake into a dam, as well as investigations conducted into expanding Burrinjuck dam.
Mrs Dalton was critical of two decades of inaction around the idea from both sides of politics through years of drought and floods.
"There's been a lot of talk but simply no action," Mrs Dalton said.
"We've seen major flooding over the years, going back to 2012, 2016 and just last year.
"Despite this, governments have taken no action to increase dam infrastructure as an answer for water storage in dry times and to mitigate against flooding in wet times.
"When it does flood, no one wants the water but invariably down the line we find we do need it.
"I believe Lake Coolah and Burrinjuck Dam could both be increased four times beyond their current capacity," she said.
The desire to see Lake Coolah converted into a dam to meet the areas complex water needs and address life after the basin plan has been ongoing for years.
Back in 2015, former agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said Lake Coolah could be "easily constructed" into a dam with the potential to store half a million megalitres of water.
In 2021 MIA businessman David Farley called for a feasibility study on Lake Coolah, citing it as a potential answer looking ahead beyond the end of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, adding that storage carryover water in the lake during winter would help release extra space on Blowering and Burrinjuck Dams.
Meanwhile, the Lake and its nearby swamp have also been repeatedly raised by Riverina councils as a possible new dam location.
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