Works are underway on several WaterNSW projects aimed at extending the availability of water from Burrendong Dam in the central west region to communities in the Macquarie valley, including pumping and a tender for a new pumping network.
WaterNSW forecasts indicate that without these projects, and with no inflows into the dam, surface water supply to communities in the Macquarie valley would be insecure by November 2019.
However, works underway such as temporarily raising Warren weir, and preparing to pump the remnant storage left in Burrendong Dam, pushes that worst-case scenario into 2020.
In early September 2019, work on the Warren weir-raising was completed and tenders were called to install the pumping network needed to access the dam’s remnant storage once the volume falls below zero per cent.
With the addition of water transferred from Windamere Dam in Cudgegong, via the Cudgegong River, even with zero inflows into Burrendong Dam there is sufficient dam water supply for towns and critical human needs until at least May 2020.
The State Government has also announced $30 million to assist Dubbo Regional Council augment its groundwater supply.
Water authorities have been progressively restricting availability in recent years as winter rains failed for an unprecedented three consecutive years, resulting in Burrendong’s storage volume dropping to 4.5 per cent.