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Water Planning for Sydney
Water planning for Sydney

Water for people and water for the environment

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Water planning for Sydney

Having a secure water supply is a key goal for the NSW 2021 Plan. It is also critical for the sustainable growth of Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra (greater Sydney). 

The Metropolitan Water Plan is reviewed periodically. These reviews enable us to adapt to challenges such as our highly variable climate, droughts, climate change and a growing population, and to update the plan taking account of the latest data, techniques and research.

The community planning principles were developed though community consultation and they continue to underpin the way we do water planning.

Encouraging people to have their say and facilitating increased understanding of water planning is an integral component of the way we do water planning.

Browse our range of resources about water education for the community.

Dams are our major source of drinking water. However Sydney is no longer totally reliant on rainfall stored in dams because water is also available through desalination and recycling.

Water recycling is treating and reusing wastewater, greywater and stormwater for non-drinking purposes in and outside the home, in industry, for irrigation and agriculture.

Desalination is an important, non-rainfall dependent part of the NSW Government's approach to securing Sydney's water supply, and can provide up to 15 percent of Sydney's water.

Thanks to the water wise efforts of homes and businesses in the greater Sydney region, we are using the same amount of water now as in the early 1970s - even with an extra 1.4 million people.

Balancing greater Sydney's water supply and demand over the long term requires improved understanding of climate cycles and trends, as well as the potential impacts of climate change.

Protecting greater Sydney's rivers, aquifers and catchments is essential for a healthy environment as well as for recreation, business and tourism. The main focus of Metropolitan Water Plan initiatives in this area is environmental flows.