The NSW Government is funding $1 million for the completion of a feasibility study into the Lake Rowlands dam extension as part of its emergency response to the drought in regional NSW.

Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole, said preliminary studies will be completed by Central Tablelands Water to bring the project to the shovel ready stage.

“This will include details on a secure yield study, cost benefit analysis, engineering design, and a review of environmental factors,” Mr Toole said.

“As well as the preliminary work needed for the project, the community and other stakeholders will be consulted on CTW’s preferred option for the dam.

“We want to see the Central West thrive as a region and securing our water future will ensure this happens.

“Raising the dam wall at Lake Rowlands by 2.2 metres would almost double its capacity.”

Nationals MLC, Sam Farraway said the 4,500 megalitre dam supplies around 10,000 customers in the towns of Blayney, Canowindra, Manildra, Grenfell and a number of smaller communities,” Mr Farraway said.

“The region was hit hard by the millennium drought and current conditions are also presenting a huge challenge to the region, with Level 3 water restrictions currently in place.

“To ensure water security well into the future and build our economy, planning must start on the necessary infrastructure.”

Mr Farraway said the NSW Government has previously provided funds to WaterNSW for the completion of a business case for a pipeline between Lake Rowlands Dam and Carcoar Dam.

“The Government has moved quickly and decisively to assist regional NSW during this drought. We know communities are doing it tough and need our support to ensure water security for residents and businesses,” she said.

“WaterNSW is expected to release their business case for the pipeline by mid-2020 and, with the completion of preliminary studies for the Lake Rowlands Dam expansion, we can be ready to start building the infrastructure this region needs.”

The funding forms part of the Government’s $88 million package to extend water supplies across regional NSW and a total drought package of $3.3 billion since 2017.

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