Walcha one step closer to improved water security

Media release | 31 August 2022

A new 300 megalitre off-stream storage dam at Walcha will provide greater water security and reliability for residents and businesses and to help drought-proof the town’s water supply.

Work has started on the $11 million project, a joint initiative between the Australian and NSW Governments. The National Water Grid Fund Connections Pathway is contributing $2 million and the NSW Government’s Safe and Secure Water Program is investing $9 million.

The new 300 megalitre off-creek storage dam is being built on a small tributary of the MacDonald River, 16 kilometres from the existing water treatment infrastructure.

The project also includes upgrading a river offtake pumping station, upgrades to the water inlet structure, new access roads and fencing, and new pipework to connect the dam to the nearby town water supply pump station.

Site clearing has been completed and early works have commenced. Major work will commence in mid-September.

Major construction is due to be finished by mid-2023.

Quotes from the Minister for Environment and Water, Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

“The Australian Government is committed to improving water security, particularly for our regional communities. This will help strengthen climate and drought resilience.

“The National Water Grid Connections pathway is focussed on building regional water infrastructure projects that improve water access and reliability.

“The commencement of the Walcha Off-Stream Water Storage project provides certainty of water security for the Walcha community.”

Quotes from the NSW Lands and Water Minister, the Hon Kevin Anderson MP:

“Breaking ground on this significant water security project is a landmark moment for Walcha residents and businesses because it will address uncertainty around water supply and put the community on the front foot when the next dry spell comes.

“In 2019, Walcha faced lengthy water restrictions because its existing small 80 megalitre off-creek water storage was not big enough to service the town’s 3092 residents, which is why we are putting this new infrastructure in place to stop that happening again.

“The new dam will quadruple the river storage capacity transforming the way Walcha manages its water resources, particularly during droughts.”

Quotes from the Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes:

“The Walcha Off Stream Storage project is one of the most important water infrastructure projects in the region’s history and will go a long way towards creating a stronger, more resilient community.

“The new storage dam has been the number one priority for Walcha Council because it will enable us to be better prepared to face the devastation of drought events by providing a safer and more secure source of drinking water.

“Having shovels in the ground is also a major win for Walcha’s economy because projects of this size create jobs and put more money in the till for local businesses.”

Minister for Lands and Water.A new 300 megalitre off-stream storage dam at Walcha will provide greater water security and reliability for residents and businesses and to help drought-proof the town’s water supply.