The NSW Government has officially listed Bathurst on the critical needs water list.


This will make it eligible for vital water infrastructure projects to be fast-tracked to shore up the city’s water supply.


The temporary legislation was introduced into Parliament to ensure drought-stricken communities will not run out of drinking water.


Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the use of the new temporary legislation will ensure the continued supply of drinking water to the people of Bathurst. 


“Despite recent rainfall along the coast, many parts of NSW such as Bathurst are still struggling through drought. Chifley Dam has gradually reduced from full capacity in November 2016 to less than 30 percent late last month,” she said.


“Bathurst Regional Council can now fast- track key planned water infrastructure initiatives such as storm water harvesting and the pipeline to link Winburndale Dam with the city’s water filtration plant at Gormans Hill.


Bathurst MP Paul Toole said that this will assist Bathurst Regional Council in delivering short to medium term projects for the local community on water security.


“The NSW Government has already provided $14.25 million to Bathurst Regional Council to fund a number of water security initiatives,” Mr Toole said.


These have included:

-       Strengthening Winburndale Dam Wall;

-       Stormwater harvesting;

-       Winburndale pipeline; and

-       Investigations into other water security options.    


The Water Supply (Critical Needs) Act began on the 21 November 2019 and will be in effect for two years. It can be extended by up to 12 months by the government if town water supplies continue to be at risk due to ongoing drought.