Options

The following frequently asked questions are about options.

Where can I find information on what projects and/or initiatives are being considered for the strategies?

Refer to the ‘Long-list of options’ for each region found on our website. Visit the main page where you can click on specific regions.

Can you explain the options assessment process?

We have developed a decision-making process for the strategies to help identify options that meet one or more of our objectives and then combine them in a way that maximises the value of the region’s water resources, now and for the future. This process will use the best and latest evidence, and a range of assessment tools to identify risks and opportunities associated with each option. It will assess individual options and packages of options in a transparent and consistent way.

The process is consistent with the NSW Government’s policies for evidence-based decision-making and economic analysis. It is also consistent with the objectives of the NSW Water Management Act 2000 and with other policy obligations, including the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.

The decision-making process has four broad stages:

  1. filter the options
  2. understand risks and challenges, and then shortlist options
  3. create portfolios of options
  4. recommend final portfolio of options.

The options assessment process will determine which portfolios could:

  • generate the most value for the region
  • be implemented as planned, delivered to time and budget, and produce the expected benefits.

How will these projects and/or initiatives be funded?

The regional water strategies will recommend projects and/or initiatives for a region. The NSW Government can decide to adopt any or all of these recommendations. Progression of a project and/or initiative will be subject to planning, prioritisation, delivery and funding considerations in line with the strategic direction set out in the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy 2018-2038.

What is the proposed review of surface water accounting and allocation? What are the implications of this option?

The intent of this option is to more effectively meet water needs for basic landholder rights, stock and domestic water users, Aboriginal cultural needs and high-priority users in the Gwydir (with an additional buffer to support town water security).

This option would review several settings within the current surface water accounting and water allocation process including:

  • reviewing water allocation process
  • updating the ‘worst inflow sequence’ to incorporate climate change considerations
  • investigating changes to the volume of water stored in Copeton Dam for regional towns and stock and domestic water users
  • investigating how ‘conveyance losses’ are accounted for
  • investigating provisions for cultural flows.

This option could be combined with other water efficiency and policy options.