The NSW Government is acting on its commitment to raise the Wyangala Dam wall and increase its capacity by 650 gigalitres.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke and Cowra Shire Council Mayor Bill West hosted Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey on a tour of the area to give her a sense of the project’s scale and purpose.

“It was wonderful to show Minister Pavey around the Wyangala Dam area and give her an idea of what the $32 million project will do for the Lachlan Valley area,” Ms Cooke said.

“This will be a key development for providing water security and ensure that future droughts do not create such a serious impact here.”

Mrs Pavey said this year’s budget allocated $32 million over three years to progress planning on the augmentation of the Wyangala Dam.

“Raising the Wyangala Dam wall by 10 metres will deliver an extra 50 per cent to the current 1218 gigalitres capacity, raising it to 1870 gigalitres at full supply level,” Mrs Pavey said.

“The Lachlan Valley suffers during floods and droughts, and raising Wyangala Dam will help local communities better deal with both problems in the future.

Ms Cooke said WaterNSW will soon start work to deliver a final business case to Government.

“We’re committed to doing everything possible to better prepare NSW for that next drought, and dams are a key part of that,” Ms Cooke said.

“We consulted the experts on how best to improve water safety and security here in the Lachlan Valley, something I am committed to delivering.

“That increased water storage then is available for release when it’s needed, such as during droughts.”

As part of delivering this final business case, WaterNSW will soon commence work that includes:

•           geotechnical surveys,

•           hydrological modelling,

•           concept design for the dam augmentation,

•           environmental assessment,

•           stakeholder and community consultation, and

•           economic analysis.

At the completion of this work, the final business case will be presented to the NSW Government for a final investment decision.

WaterNSW has undertaken a preliminary investigation in order to recommend a suite of potential options that will improve water security for users in the Lachlan region.

The study assessed a variety of surface water storage, pipeline, off-stream storage, re-regulating storage, operational and other delivery efficiency options.

Raising Wyangala was found to provide the greatest improvement in drought security, flood management and water reliability.