Orana Water Utility Alliance receive share of $1 billion safe and secure program

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey (third left) was in Narromine on Wednesday to announce funding to investigate the condition of 31 bores in the Orana Joint Organisation. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN
Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey (third left) was in Narromine on Wednesday to announce funding to investigate the condition of 31 bores in the Orana Joint Organisation. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey was at Soul Food Design Depot on Wednesday to announce funding to ensure safe and secure water for the region.

The Orana Water Utility Alliance, which includes the Gilgandra, Narromine, Warren, Bogan, Warrumbungle and the Mid-Western Regional Councils, received $500,000 to assess the accuracy, safety and efficiency of 31 bores across the six local government areas to improve water security.

"We've never seen such low inflows into the Macquarie Valley, it's 40 per cent lower than the previous lowest year. It is off the charts in terms of lack of rain," Ms Pavey said on Wednesday.

"And when we consider that in 2016 Burrendong was full, the dam was full, our systems were just gauging with water through this valley, even Menindee Lakes was 90 per cent full, so what has followed is 31 months of just the lowest rainfall ever recorded throughout NSW, particularly this northern basin."

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Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said many councils in the Orana Water Utilities Alliance area rely on bores as their key water source, however the production quality and quantity of existing bores is unknown.

"The program is essential for regional towns like Narromine as it prioritises key water infrastructure projects - from local drought backup systems through to new or upgraded dams to secure water supplies for our communities," he said.

Ms Pavey said safe and secure water was just as important for businesses as well as farmers in the region.

"Many of our farmers they create the jobs in the main street," she said.

"Whether it's machinery suppliers or it's produce suppliers, its businesses.

"We are challenged we've never seen anything quite like this, this drought is off the charts particularly in this part of the world, but we must work together.

"There is support but it's not going to be solved until it rains properly.

"We'll pray that the Bureau of Meteorology is wrong, that we are going to get big east coast lows through our Summer and that we will continue to work together, plan together and continue to support our farmers and our towns."

This story Safe and secure water granted for the Orana Water Utility Alliance first appeared on Narromine News.