A ‘new’ approach to water security in Macquarie-Castlereagh and Belubula Valley regions

28 February 2024

Finding water infrastructure solutions and knowing the right places to look isn’t always straight forward. That’s why we’re funding 2 business cases to expand on what was originally going under the microscope in 2 NSW regions.

We’ve committed $4.675 million to the Macquarie-Wambuul Water Security detailed business case. This work will focus on the Macquarie-Castlereagh region. The business case will investigate options to address water security concerns, including:

  • a regional pipeline connecting Dubbo to Nyngan and other towns
  • changes to Burrendong Dam to increase water supply in the flood mitigation zone of the dam
  • considering the future of the Gin Gin Weir, including a fishway between Warren and Narromine
  • non-infrastructure options identified through the Macquarie-Castlereagh Regional Water Strategy.

A detailed assessment will be undertaken for the Gin Gin Weir option, focussing on environmental and cultural impacts.

Meanwhile in the Belubula Valley region, the Australian Government has committed $3.9 million to investigate 4 infrastructure options, including:

  • a new pipeline between Lake Rowlands Dam and Carcoar Dam which could transfer up to 2 gigalitres of water per year
  • raising the Lake Rowlands Dam wall to increase storage from 4.5 gigalitres (GL) to 8 GL, securing water for nearby communities
  • building a new dam 2.5 km downstream of Lake Rowlands 
  • operational rules for an interregional pipeline connecting the Belubula and Macquarie valleys.

Careful technical, environmental and cultural heritage assessments will be undertaken. This will allow for the best options for the region to be identified.

Aerial view of Carcoar Dam on Belubula River.
Aerial view of Carcoar Dam on the Belubula River. Credit: NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

The 2 studies are expected to be completed by mid-2025, and future investment decisions will be determined based on the outcomes.

Australian Government funding is provided through the National Water Grid Fund. The New South Wales Government has co-funded both business cases.

Learn more

Macquarie/Wambuul Water Security Scheme | National Water Grid Authority

Belubula Water Security Scheme | National Water Grid Authority