A river in FNC.

The New South Wales Government has launched the Far North Coast Regional Water Strategy, which aims to shore up water security for the region in the wake of extreme climate conditions.

The strategy is a framework that has been developed through planning and consultation with the people of the Far North Coast, who have lived experience of how the changing climate is impacting water security on many levels.

New South Wales Minister for Water, Rose Jackson, said safeguarding town water supplies, boosting the resilience of natural systems, improving river connectivity and delivering better First Nations outcomes are some of the strategy’s key priorities over the next 20 years and beyond.

“From enforced water restrictions during the worst drought on record to water carting during last year’s devastating floods in Lismore due to contamination issues, these locals have seen it all and know how precious clean and reliable water is,” Ms Jackson said.

“This strategy recognises the region’s unique ecosystems, industries and communities, with each of the 25 actions in the implementation plan underpinned by state-of-the-art climate modelling and community engagement to help put us on the front foot for the future.”

Actions in the strategy include:

  • Better supporting local councils to provide secure and affordable water supply systems to towns and improve flood risk management
  • Delivering a river rehabilitation program to enhance the health and water quality of the region’s rivers as well as boosting native fish passage
  • Finding innovative water supply options such as recycled water and managed aquifer recharge
  • Investigating improved use and understanding of groundwater resources
  • Collaborating with First Nations groups to improve Aboriginal businesses opportunities and cultural outcomes

Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, said, “The Far North Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in the state, particularly off the back of COVID, and we expect our beautiful towns and cities will continue to grow and thrive over the next few decades.

“We know there’s a lot to be done but this is the first step in mapping out how to address water challenges. It’s a holistic approach for equitable water management, supporting the environment and the region’s booming $617 million per year agricultural industry.”

This strategy is one of 12 regional and two metropolitan water strategies from the New South Wales Government that map out the state’s water future.

To view the strategy and learn more, see the Far North Coast Regional Water Strategy webpage.

Featured image: A river in the Far North Coast region. Image credit: New South Wales Government.

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