Development of Regional Water Strategies

We are working to improve the resilience of our water resources for towns and communities, the environment, Aboriginal communities and industry.

Development of the Regional Water Strategies has been prioritised based on need, risk, and alignment to the State Infrastructure Strategy. This includes a catchment needs assessment for each region and current drought impacts. Upstream catchments are analysed to inform downstream strategies. The information used to develop and finalise the strategies includes scientific data, local and traditional knowledge and community feedback.

Key stakeholders involved during this development phase include Councils, Joint Organisations, peak groups as well as the public. We have also met with Aboriginal communities to seek input on cultural values and rights. Insights from previous engagement on Water Resource Plans and other programs is used in the development of the Regional Water Strategies.

The strategies will provide an opportunity to explore how we can better integrate and shape future planning and policies to deliver improved water outcomes. The objectives, challenges, opportunities and options identified in the draft regional water strategies will be tested, evaluated and refined based on feedback from the public exhibition process and stakeholder engagement.

We are developing a long list of options that includes potential policy management and infrastructure measures to ensure we consider and test a broad range of possible solutions. Only some of the options will already be costed and they will not yet have been prioritised. The long lists will be available when a draft strategy is released for public exhibition. The department will include stakeholder feedback with other data to analyse these options to create a final short list of actions and the evidence to support these actions.

The final regional water strategies for each region will include;

  • a final package of actions approved by government,
  • an implementation plan including a clear governance structure for delivery, and
  • opportunities for local and regional partnerships

All of which will be focused on maximising water security benefits that are distributed for the best economic and community outcomes.

The Greater Hunter Regional Water Strategy has been finalised and will be implemented over the coming years.

Work is underway on the strategies throughout 2020, and delivery of the final strategies is expected in 2021.

Region Water Strategy Consultation on draft strategy Implementation of final strategy
Greater Hunter  Released in 2018
Macquarie-Castlereagh Mid-2020 2021
Gwydir Mid-2020 2021
Lachlan Mid-2020 2021
Far North Coast Mid-20202021
South Coast Late-2020 2021
North Coast Late-2020 2021
Namoi Late-2020 2021
Border Rivers Late-2020 2021
Western Late-2020 2021
Murray Late-2020 2021
Murrumbidgee Late-2020 2021