The NSW Government has commenced further work to secure water for Greater Sydney with preliminary planning for the expansion of the Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP) commencing as Greater Sydney dam levels continue to drop at record pace.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said all of NSW is experiencing the worst drought on record and Sydney’s Desalination Plant is playing a significant role in maintaining Sydney’s water supply.

“We are experiencing one of the worst droughts in living memory. Our State is under pressure, city and country,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Sydney storages have dropped from around 90 per cent to 50 per cent capacity in approximately two years, with Sydney’s dam levels currently at 50.3 per cent.

“The SDP reached full production at the end of July – two months ahead of schedule.

“The Plant is now producing an average of 250 million litres a day – approximately 15 per cent of Sydney’s supply.”

Mrs Pavey said since the Plant was turned on, the current dam depletion rates have improved by around 0.2 per cent per week.

“By undertaking this Planning work, should the drought worsen and water levels continue to drop, we will be ready to act immediately to increasing water supply,” Mrs Pavey said.

“This is on top of the work already underway to preserve Sydney’s water supply, including the Sydney Water ‘Love Water’ campaign, leakage reduction and increasing the beneficial uses of treated wastewater.

“This government has worked hard to ensure that Sydney residents pay the lowest rates in the country, however as Sydney grows, it is critical that we continue to ensure that our water security continues to grow as well.”