What Lies Ahead for NSW’S Water Infrastructure

The New South Wales Government has recently launched a 20-year blueprint outlining the strategy for Water and the plans for future infrastructure projects, to support the delivery of sustainable water resources across the state.

Throughout time we have seen increased pressure on water management systems from varying elements including changing climate, population growth, industry needs, and economic conditions, creating a need for Governments to adapt to address these issues. In addressing these issues, the New South Wales Government has launched their latest water strategy, outlining a first of its kind long term management plan for water in a 20-year blueprint. Melinda Pavey, the Minister for Water, Property and Housing stated that this strategy will help New South Wales work towards becoming a world leader in water innovation and efficiency.

The strategy outlines seven key priorities that the New South Wales Government plans to address, including:

  1. build community confidence and capacity through engagement, transparency and accountability;
  2. recognise First Nations/Aboriginal People’s rights and values and increase access to and ownership of water for cultural and economic purpose;
  3. improve river, floodplain and aquifer ecosystem health, and system connectivity;
  4. increase resilience to changes in water availability (variability and climate change);
  5. support economic growth and resilient industries within a capped system;
  6. support resilient, prosperous, and liveable cities and towns; and
  7. enable a future focused, capable, and innovative water sector.

As part of this strategy the New South Wales Government will find opportunities to invest in research, development, future infrastructure, and new technologies to assist in achieving the seven key priorities, mentioned above. In association to the announcement of the Water Strategy, the New South Wales Government launched the Water Project Map, highlighting the current and future water projects, and where investment in water infrastructure is occurring around the state.

Today, the New South Wales Government has over 30 projects underway including the Hunter water project, which consists of the following updates to wastewater treatment plants – $10M for Toronto, $25M for Tanilba Bay and $28M for Dungog. Other water infrastructure projects include the Molong emergency water supply and the Gundagai sewage treatment plant augmentation.

Currently, there are over 65 proposed future water projects across New South Wales as highlighted in the water project map, these projects include the SDLAM acceleration, reconnecting river country, dam and pipeline projects, Western Weirs program, Northern Basin toolkit measures and the Macquarie water security scheme.

With a predicted population growth of 2.8 million over the next 20 years, projects in the water sector will continue to increase to cater for the states requirements. The New South Wales Government will continually review and report on their progress in relation to the strategy and announce new infrastructure projects as they are getting the green light to move ahead.

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