NSW water crisis: Mines west of Dubbo already have decreased water allocations

Heavy truck pours the road with water in the iron ore quarry. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.
Heavy truck pours the road with water in the iron ore quarry. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.

As water dwindles in western NSW, the government says it will prioritise communities over industry, including mines out west.

With water running scare in the region, the future of the mines is concerning according to Australian Workers' Union South West Region Official Ron Cowdrey.

The mines having water and continuing operation is not the top priority for the state government.

A spokesperson for the deputy premier, John Barilaro, said the highest priority for allocation of water was for human needs.

"The government's highest priority in the allocation of water from our major dams remains the supply for critical human needs," the spokesperson said.

"Where possible supplies are continuing to be provided for other users with high security licences, which includes many mines. For example the mines at Nyngan and Cobar are continuing to be provided with water from the Macquarie River in conjunction with providing supplies to the towns, although their allocations are reduced."

The government's highest priority [for] water remains the supply for critical human needs.

Spokesperson for John Barilaro, Deputy Premier

Mr Cowdrey said there was concern for the future of the mines.

"Short term it's business as usual, monitoring the water situation. In 2020 they will have to reassess...there is concern there," he said.

"[The union] has to be notified before any mass redundancies."

The status of the mines out west are as follows: Peak Gold Mine is already self-sufficient and Endeavour Mine is already in care of maintenance. According to the AWU Regional Official, CSA Mine is monitoring the water situation and looking to be fine until the middle of next year and Tritton have reported no situations as of yet.

According to Mines NSW, mining uses about 1.5 per cent of the state water.

"We get water from a variety of sources, like rivers, ground water aquifers, rainfall, water recycled on site, town effluent or water supplied by a third party," the Mines NSW fact sheet reads.

The state government is continuing to monitor the situation.

"The government is continuing to work with major industries and local councils to advise them of how long existing supplies from storage will last," Mr Barilaro's spokesperson said.

This story Water woes for the mines out west: Should workers be concerned? first appeared on Daily Liberal.