Facilitate greater state government support

Yanco Weir Murrumbidgee River

We are exploring how town water risks related to scale, remoteness, and skills shortages can be reduced by enabling local water utilities to access the capacity and capabilities of State Government entities more effectively, including agencies and State-Owned Corporations.

This focus area is divided into two streams of work:

  1. Enhance the support available to local water utilities to manage incidents and emergencies. This was identified as a priority workstream by the TWRRP Stakeholder Advisory Panel
  2. Identify and pilot new models for State Government entities to help local water utilities address their priority risks, where these entities are uniquely placed to provide support.

Managing incidents and emergencies

Following engagement with the local water utilities sector, we have prioritised high-level areas for improving incident support to local water utilities.

The two areas that emerged as the highest priority areas:

  • Strengthening support for local water utilities to develop more robust incident management plans, and to exercise these more frequently.
  • Exploring options to enhance or expand the support available to help the most resource-constrained utilities to respond to incidents.

We are now working with the sector to develop and pilot specific solutions within these priority areas.

Incident support focus groups

The program team has established a small focus team comprised of experienced sector stakeholders selected in consultation with the program’s stakeholder advisory panel.

The members of this team are volunteers.

This focus team meets regularly and collaborates with the Town Water Risk Reduction Program team to develop preliminary options, analysis and documents.

The program team will then test these outputs with the broader local water utility sector through a series of semi-regular workshops that will be held between November and March 2022.  These workshops will be open to any interested stakeholders, and will be advertised in the program’s regular newsletter. The updates provided at these workshops will also be published on this webpage for stakeholders who were unable to attend.

State Government support to reduce risks

Between June – September 2021, we engaged with our stakeholders to identify the areas where they saw the most opportunity to reduce local water utility risks by expanding or enhancing in-kind support from NSW Government entities.

This feedback is being collated to identify and pilot new models for State Government entities to help local water utilities address their priority risks, where these entities are uniquely placed to provide support.

The Town Water Risk Reduction Program team are currently working with local water utility and state government stakeholders to scope and commence a series of specific pilots to test the support options identified.  The pilot phase will commence in November 2021 and continue until mid-2022 (and potentially longer for certain pilots). Information about the scope, location and progress of pilots will be published on this webpage.