The NSW Office of Water works in partnership with local water utilities (LWUs) in regional NSW to manage town water supplies during drought. In NSW, LWUs are responsible for water supply to country towns and villages.
Local water utilities have the responsibility to manage their water supplies and, where necessary during times of drought, impose restrictions to maintain essential supplies. The NSW Office of Water works in partnership with the LWUs in regional NSW to manage water supplies during drought.
When country town and village supplies are threatened by drought or blue-green algae outbreaks, the NSW Government will help LWUs maintain a basic supply to their consumers. The NSW Office of Water will provide technical assistance and aid to LWUs in applying for financial assistance from the government.
Types of assistance available
During times of drought, technical or financial assistance may be provided to assist in the preparation or revision of drought management plans, manage depleted supplies, implement emergency capital works or for carting water. Water cartage is generally only cost effective for small towns.
Emergency capital works may be recommended as the best solution to the LWU's water supply problem. These might include emergency bore supplies, temporary or permanent connection to another source or water supply scheme, or the development of new water sources.
NSW was in continuous drought from 2001 until 2010. During this period the government provided technical and financial assistance to local water utilities to maintain essential water supplies. In pursuit of the key result that urban water supplies are reliable and secure, the prime objective of the Office of Water is to ensure no town runs out of water.
Between 2002 and 2010 the NSW Government approved more than $92 million for emergency drought works for town water supplies in non-metropolitan areas. The drought situation improved dramatically in the second half of 2009 and is generally considered to have ended by 2010.
Major projects for which funding was approved included:
- pipeline from Wingecarribee reservoir to Goulburn - $20 million
- an intake and pipeline from Macquarie River to Orange - $18.2 million
- bore and pipeline from Merri-Abba to Lake Cargelligo - $9.5 million
- stormwater harvesting and other drought works at Orange - $4.4 million
- emergency water cartage to 26 small communities - $2.4 million
- pipeline from Cowra to Woodstock - $2.2 million
- intake and pipeline for Goulburn water supply - $2.2 million
- pumps, pipeline, intake modifications, sedimentation basins for Lake Cargelligo water supply - $1.5 million
- stormwater harvesting and other works for Oberon water supply - $1.4 million
- bores and ancillary works for White Cliffs, Ivanhoe and Wilcannia water supplies - $1.2 million
- standpipes in secure water supplies to provide water for cartage to small towns - $1.2 million
- refurbish and recommission wells for Tamworth water supply - $1.1 million
- intake and pipeline for Rous water supply - $1.1 million
- bores and pipelines for Yass water supply - $0.9 million
- bores for Grabben Gullen, Laggan, Dalton, Jerrawa, Narrawa, Gunning, Collector, Breadalbane and Taralga in Upper Lachlan Shire Council - $0.8 million
- bores for Eurobodalla water supply - $0.7 million
- bore and disinfection for Crookwell water supply - $0.6 million
- bore for Bourke water supply - $0.6 million
- bores for Forbes water supply - $0.6 million
- modifications to water supply intakes to access lower lake levels - $0.6 million.
For more information, or to discuss any aspect of drought management, contact your nearest regional urban water officer.