The NSW Government’s 2021-22 Budget locks in $862 million to support sustainable, secure and healthy water resources across the state.
Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said preparing now for future droughts must be a priority, and the budget will help the Government deliver on a sustainable, secure and healthy water sector for all.
“While much of NSW is officially out of drought, we cannot be complacent. We must prepare our state now for potentially more severe dry spells in the future,” Mrs Pavey said.
“For the first time in decades we are building dams on top of investing in other water infrastructure that will provide water security for our cities and towns and protect our agricultural sector during drought.
“The NSW Government will continue the development of business cases and early planning for dams in the Lachlan Valley, Peel Valley and Border Rivers Regions, as well as the Lostock Dam to Glennie’s Dam pipeline as part of the Government’s $245 million commitment to address water security across Regional NSW.
“An additional $20 million will ensure work can continue on the rollout of 12 Regional Water Strategies, the first ever NSW Water Strategy and Aboriginal Water Strategy.
“These strategies will set the direction for water policy, planning and infrastructure decisions for the next 20 years, putting water security and drought resilience on the same footing as other vital services, like transport and health.”
Minister Pavey said funding had also been committed to fighting water losses in regional areas where water infrastructure may be ageing or under pressure due to higher populations.
“Over three years the Government will spend $12.5 million on a regional program to help local water utilities fix leaks across their networks, saving water and securing a safe supply for residents throughout the state,” Mrs Pavey said.
“By acting now to repair infrastructure and improve efficiencies, we can save regional communities the much bigger cost of replacing or augmenting water treatment plants and pipes.
“This commitment, along with others in the budget, supports water users, communities and the environment across NSW now and for generations to come.”