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Deep water in the dams

Accessing deep water in our dams has increased the amount of water available by an extra 40 billion litres a year.

The NSW Government is making better use of the existing system of dams and water infrastructure.

Deep in our dams is a body of water known as ‘deep storage’, which has previously been inaccessible for water supply. New pipes and pumps have been built to reach deeper into Warragamba and Nepean dams, so that water deep in the dams can be accessed.

In a severe drought, another 200 billion litres of water will be available, which amounts to an additional six months of supply if drought restrictions are in place. This increases the annual average amount of water available over the long term by 40 billion litres a year, or about seven percent of Sydney’s water needs.

The Sydney Catchment Authority has completed these complex engineering projects, which have provided a relatively cost-effective means of increasing water supply.

At Nepean Dam, the deep water transfer pumps and pipes have already been used to pump water to Avon Dam to make water supplies more secure for the residents and businesses of the Illawarra. The new pumping station at Warragamba is ready to start pumping should we need in a future drought.

To find out more visit the Sydney Catchment Authority website or view Chapter 3 (PDF) of the 2010 Metropolitan Water Plan.