New South Wales regions are set to share $40 million in funding for new water infrastructure projects, aiming to increase water storage and combat climate change. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the water infrastructure projects are co-funded under the Federal Government’s National Water Grid Connections funding pathway, through the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund.

“Connections recognises that small-scale infrastructure projects individually may make localised improvements to water outcomes, while collectively they can make nationally significant contributions to the National Water Grid,” Mr Joyce said. 

“The Australian Government is providing $108 million to deliver 40 new projects through the National Water Grid Connections funding pathway, improving water security and reliability across the nation.”

The New South Wales Connections package is jointly funded by the Federal Government ($15.8 million) and the New South Wales Government, alongside other partners ($24.3 million). 

The New South Wales Connection package includes:

  • Lake Wyangan Water Sustainability project: The Griffith Water Reclamation Plant will be modified, and a new 5.2km pipeline will help grow the local citrus industry and expand irrigation of dry land farming areas
  • Walcha Off-Stream Water Storage: A new 300ML off-stream storage dam will be built to improve water reliability and help the Walcha community prepare for future droughts
  • West Wyalong Water Reliability project: West Wyalong’s distribution network will be upgraded to help expand the Lake Cowal Gold Mine, as well as provide water to local agribusiness customers
  • Broken Hill to Menindee Graziers Pipeline: A new pipeline will be built to support graziers across 320,000 hectares of farmland, providing them a dedicated water source with better reliability and quality
  • Urbenville Water Supply project: The Urbenville Water Treatment Plant will be expanded with three raw water tanks installed, boosting supply certainty for livestock, dairy and crop production

NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said, “$40 million worth of critical water projects are now shovel-ready and will bring much-needed economic benefits to local communities during the next 18 months and beyond.

“Together, they’ll deliver over 60 jobs during construction and more than 230 ongoing jobs.

“When completed, they’ll create around 1,650ML in extra water storage capacity and over 4,000ML a year in increased water availability.

“This will mean more than 240 hectares of additional land will now be open to irrigation, and nearly 200 new customers or properties will be able to connect to the improved water supply delivered by this suite of projects.

“This investment is wonderful news for many communities across regional NSW, including Griffith, Walcha, West Wyalong, Urbenville, Broken Hill and Menindee.”

All projects are expected to be completed by mid-2023.

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