WORK on the Macquarie Pipeline could start before the $15 million Suma Park Dam upgrade.
The council expects to start work on the pipeline mere months after it is approved and a final decision from the planning department is expected later this year.
But the dam upgrade, including the raising of the wall by one metre, is still in the early planning stages, with the council yet to start an Environmental Assessment (EA).
“[The upgrade] will happen independently of the pipeline but it will happen as soon as possible,” council spokesman Allan Reeder said.
“We wouldn’t want to wait for one to finish before we started the other.
“They’ll plug away on both projects.”
Despite work on the pipeline likely to start before the dam, Mr Reeder said the complex pipeline project would take longer than raising the dam wall.
Mr Reeder said consultants still needed to negotiate with landholders and the final costs of the project and appropriate environment flows won’t be determined until at least the end of the year.
The upgrade will add about 10 per cent to the size of the dam and increase net capacity by about 100 megalitres per year.
Mr Reeder said the council would apply to the state government to cover some of the cost under the country towns scheme as soon as details were finalised.