Steph Cooke wears a Nationals vest and sits in front of the Wyangala Dam wall.

The NSW Government is calling on the community to provide its feedback on a draft Regional Water Strategy for the Lachlan region.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said this is a unique opportunity for residents, farmers, businesses and councils to have their say on how water infrastructure and water resources are managed in the future.

“This strategy is about ensuring water security for the region over the next 20 to 40 years to support our local economy, communities and environment and who better to help us refine this than the people who live and work here,” she said.

“The Lachlan region has always had a variable climate and is prone to floods and droughts and the strategy brings together the best and latest climate evidence to plan for the region’s future water needs.

“For towns like Cowra, Parkes, Forbes and Condobolin, the government has already committed to raising Wyangala Dam; details for that are included in the strategy. 

“Other initiatives to expand existing town water supply systems, replace and upgrade existing pipelines, and provide water quality treatment plants are all options up for discussion.

“The strategy will help us address the challenges this region may face in the future and help build drought resilience of communities, industry and the environment.”

Ms Cooke said the draft plan for Lachlan is the culmination of extensive consultation and close partnerships with councils, local water utilities, the Central NSW Joint Organisation and with Aboriginal communities.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said 12 Regional Water Strategies are currently being developed across NSW and will be critical for informing future water management in the regions. 

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting regional communities by improving water security and boosting economic opportunities,” she said.

“We’ve just experienced one of the worst droughts on record and we must prepare our regions and make them more resilient.

“The strategies will determine how much water each region will need to meet future demand, identify the challenges involved in meeting those needs, and set out the actions we can take to manage risks to water security and reliability.

“Through better strategic planning the government will be able to provide and manage water for towns and communities, support regional economies, safeguard the environment and protect Aboriginal culture and heritage.”

The draft Lachlan Regional Water Strategy will be on display from 25 September to 13 November 2020 and stakeholders and the wider community will have a number of opportunities to attend online information sessions and provide their feedback.

A live webinar will take place on Monday 12 October from 10am to 12noon.

To view the draft Regional Water Strategies and for information on additional engagement sessions visit www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/lachlan-regional-water-strategy