About regional water strategies

As part of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's program of investment and reform, we are preparing new regional water strategies that will bring together the best and latest climate evidence with a wide range of tools and solutions to plan and manage the water needs in each NSW region over the next 20-40 years.

Led by the department, we are preparing 12 regional water strategies in partnership with water service providers, local councils, communities, Aboriginal people and other stakeholders across NSW.

The water strategy regions are:

  • Greater Hunter
  • Macquarie-Castlereagh
  • Lachlan
  • Gwydir
  • Far North Coast
  • Border Rivers
  • North Coast
  • South Coast
  • Namoi
  • Western
  • Murrumbidgee
  • Murray

We will be working with communities to ensure local and traditional knowledge informs the strategies and that long-term water strategies serve regional communities, including Aboriginal people, the environment and industry.

The final strategies developed over 2020 and 2021 will be adaptive, with inbuilt review processes to ensure each region has an effective and relevant strategy in place for future water management.

Regional water strategies bring together the most up to date information and evidence with all the tools we have – policy, planning, behavioural, regulatory, technology and infrastructure solutions – in an integrated package that is based on the best evidence and that balances the needs of different water users and delivers the right amount of water, at the right time, to people and businesses across NSW.

Objectives

Long-term 'roadmap' of actions to deliver the five objectives

Regional water strategies will set out a long-term ‘roadmap’ of actions to deliver five objectives. Options selected for inclusion in the final strategy for each region will need to address at least one of these objectives. We aim to develop a balanced package of options that achieves all of these objectives.
Regional water strategy objectives
Also available to download in high resolution (JPG 598.8 KB).

The regional water strategies will integrate and align with other NSW Government programs such as the State Water Strategy (in development) the whole of government drought response, long term land use plans for regional NSW, water resource plans, long term watering plans and the Safe and Secure Water Program which provides options to address local-level issues. Learn more about the relationship between regional water strategies and water sharing plans.

Development of regional water strategies was a commitment made by the NSW Government in its response to the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy 2018.

The State Infrastructure Strategies 2014 and 2018 identified six priority areas for the development of regional water strategies: the Greater Hunter, Gwydir, Macquarie-Castlereagh, Lachlan, South Coast and Far North Coast. The Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund is helping to support the fast-tracking of these regional water strategies as part of its focus on water security for regional NSW.

We recognise the impact that the current drought, bush fires and COVID-19 are having on our regional communities and will be flexible in the way we work with councils and communities in the development of the strategies.