New South Wales water programs in the Murray–Darling Basin
Programs and projects
Private Irrigation Infrastructure Program in New South Wales
This program aims to improve the efficiency and productivity of water use and management of private irrigation networks to deliver water savings for the environment. Water entitlements resulting from water savings generated from eligible projects, both off and on-farm, will help to secure a sustainable future for irrigation communities.
New South Wales state priority projects
The Australian Government agreed to provide up to $1.358 billion in funding to the NSW Government under the Inter-Governmental Agreement on Murray–Darling Basin Reform and COAG communiqué of 3 July 2008.
This funding supported a range of NSW state-led priority projects to be delivered by NSW:
- Southern-connected Metering project
- Basin Pipe project
- Irrigated Farm Modernisation project
- Healthy Floodplains project.
Smaller pilot projects to inform the Metering and Irrigated Farm Modernisation projects were also funded, and those pilots are now complete. For example, see Southern Valleys Metering Project for details.
Menindee Lakes project
The Australian Government is providing funding to NSW to develop a project to improve the efficiency of the Minindee Lakes as a water storage. The project may involve changes to infrastructure and operational arrangements to reduce the volume of water that evaporates from the Lakes each year.
See Menindee Lakes project for details.
NSW Nimmie-Caira Enhanced Environmental Water Delivery project
The Australian Government is providing up to $180.1 million to this project. In 2014, it resulted in the purchase of 84,417 ha of land by the NSW Government and 381,000 ML of supplementary (Lowbidgee) water entitlements being transferred to the Commonwealth for environmental use. These water entitlements make a large contribution towards ‘bridging the gap’ to the sustainable diversion limit in the Murrumbidgee Valley under the Murray–Darling Basin Plan. This has significantly reduced the need to purchase water entitlements from other areas in the Murrumbidgee Valley that have substantial permanent plantings and irrigation infrastructure.
The Nimmie-Caira project is the largest wetland and floodplain restoration project in the Murray–Darling Basin. The objective is to restore floodplain health and ecosystem function in the area by implementing management arrangements that enhance environmental and indigenous cultural outcomes within and beyond the Nimmie-Caira area. The NSW Department of Primary Industries is responsible for implementing future land management arrangements on the property, including extensive infrastructure works, to assist in achieving these objectives.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) conducted a performance audit of the project in 2014-15 and found it was one of the most cost effective water recovery projects administered by the department.
See Nimmie-Caira project—NSW Department of Primary Industries for details.
Toorale Infrastructure Decommissioning project
The Australian Government provided $19.6 million to the NSW Government towards the purchase of Toorale Station, on the junction of the Warrego and Darling rivers in north-west NSW in September 2008. In return for the Australian Government funding, NSW transferred 25.5 GL of water entitlements to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder for environmental watering purposes.
- Water Management Partnership Agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW – 2010
- Basin-wide water programs in the Murray–Darling Basin
Completed programs and projects
Hume Dam Remedial Works
Funding of up to $10 million was contributed to remedial works on the Hume Dam southern training wall. The funding was appropriated to the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) over 3 years.
Lithgow-Clarence Colliery Water Transfer project
The Australian Government provided funding of $4 million to upgrade the Clarence Water Transfer System, allowing the increased use of excess water from Clarence Colliery. The project aimed to improve the security of Lithgow's water supply by supplementing potable water supplies and offsetting water that would ordinarily be drawn from Oberon Dam.
Liverpool Plains Regional Water Supply Strategy
Liverpool Plains Shire Council was the lead recipient for a consortium of councils covering the regions of Liverpool Plains and Gunnedah. The project undertook a review of the issues affecting water security and management in the Gunnedah and Liverpool Plains communities now and in the future. The review included studies into water availability and options to better manage water resources. It also examined the socio-economic importance of water use and undertake a review of existing water supply and management infrastructure, as well as future water needs.
Orange Emergency Pipeline project
Funding of $20 million was committed to the NSW Government in March 2011 towards Orange City Council's water security project involving construction of a 39 km pipeline from the Macquarie River to the Suma Park Dam at Orange. The pipeline provides Orange with a secure water supply for the future by connecting the city's existing water infrastructure to the Macquarie River. The NSW Government co-contributed $18.2 million towards the project and the Orange City Council $8.8 million. The project has been completed and the pipeline opened on 2 July 2015.
See Macquarie River to Orange Pipeline project – Orange Water Security for details.
Water Management Partnership Agreement for New South Wales
In 2010 a Water Management Partnership Agreement was completed between the Commonwealth and New South Wales.