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NSW charts future with 20-year water strategy

The New South Wales government is developing a 20-year statewide strategy to improve resilience of the state’s water resources.

The NSW Water Strategy will address key challenges and opportunities for water management and service delivery across the state and set the strategic direction for the NSW water sector over the long-term.

It is based on 12 regional and two metropolitan water strategies which set out the approach to maintaining and building the resilience of the state’s water resources, including in response to climate variability and change.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the strategy will help prepare the state’s regions and cities for future growth.

“It will put water on the same footing as other essential resources and services in New South Wales,” she said.

“Every person in New South Wales, no matter where they live, has a right to safe drinking water at home and a secure water supply for their community.”

She added that the state has learned a lot from recent droughts and consultations with other state governments.

“New South Wales has also invested in new water modelling and data sets that give us a much better understanding of likely future climate conditions — an important advance in water planning,” she said.

“Water supplies are particularly vulnerable in regional areas, putting towns, farms and industry at risk. We need to prepare now for a future where water resources and services may come under even greater stress than we’ve experienced in recent years.”

The strategy aims to guide water service delivery and resource management across the state, as well as identify key challenges, opportunities, strategic priorities and actions.

It will also clearly articulate the water resource management and service delivery framework and policy context for NSW, including how the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and statewide, regional, metropolitan and local strategic water policy and planning frameworks work together.

A draft of the NSW Water Strategy is open for public consultation from Monday 15 February until Sunday 28 March 2021.