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Water Planning for Sydney
Water planning for Sydney

Water for people and water for the environment

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The current review

As part of the adaptive management approach, the 2010 Metropolitan Water Plan is currently being reviewed to take account of changes in demand and supply, new data and research.

Metropolitan Water Directorate has adopted a phased approach to the review of the 2010 Plan, with reports to the NSW Government at the end of each phase.

Phase 1 – scoping, research and investigations and community engagement (complete).

Phase 2 – portfolio development and assessment, including hydro-economic modelling; review of options for future water conservation and recycling; preliminary business case for releasing e-flows from Warragamba Dam; community engagement; development of a monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement (MERI) plan (commenced).

Phase 3 – further hydro-economic modelling and community engagement before finalising the preferred portfolio of measures for securing water supply (due September 2015).

Phase 4 – Government consideration and endorsement of the revised plan.

The current portfolio of supply and demand management measures from the 2010 Plan has been used as the starting point for the review.

The Metropolitan Water Plan review has strong linkages to the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review, which is considers options for managing flooding downstream of Warragamba Dam. 

Key issues for the current review include:

  • the impact of changes to the information and policies underpinning the 2010 portfolio (or mix) of water supply and demand measures
  • identifying the optimal portfolio of water supply and demand management measures to secure water in drought and for growth over the next 50 years
  • impacts of flood management options at Warragamba Dam on water security
  • potential impacts of climate change on long term water supply
  • identifying the community’s values and preferences for securing a sustainable water supply system for people and the environment
  • an assessment of the benefits and costs of a potential new, variable environmental flow regime from Warragamba Dam to help protect and improve the condition of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River.