Bathurst Regional Council is set to receive $2 million from the NSW Government to help it develop critical water initiatives during the worst drought on record.
This latest drought funding initiative follows the announcement last week of the successful tender to undertake a $10 million safety upgrade of the ageing Winburndale Dam wall which was built in 1930.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole will announce the funding on Monday morning as part of $65 million in emergency critical drought initiatives across the state.
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This includes up to $11.5 million in partnership programs with councils to help communities including Bathurst, Orange, and Parkes.
Mr Toole said the NSW Government was working with Bathurst Regional Council to investigate alternate water supplies.
Options also include bores, water sharing plans, stormwater harvesting and other pipelines.
"The pipeline from Winburndale Dam to Bathurst is an archaic structure made of Western Australian jarrah timber," he said. "Because of its age and fragile state, it cannot handle the type of water pressures needed to efficiently pump water to the city.
"Upgrading the sections of original wooden piping that still remain in place since the 1930s to a suitable standard would be just one of a raft of options being explored and fast-tracked by Bathurst Regional Council thanks to this added $2 million from the state government."
The 1700 megalitre Winburndale Dam draws water from an 88 square kilometre catchment. Untreated water piped from the dam is primarily used to water council-owned parks and gardens.
This package is part of our support for our rural communities and will help make sure every precious drop of water counts.Bathurst MP Paul Toole
"This $2 million funding to Bathurst Regional Council is much needed to forward plan its water security," Mr Toole said.
"Water security is vital to the Bathurst's economy, local businesses and jobs. This package is part of our support for our rural communities and will help make sure every precious drop of water counts."
Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke said the $2 million would be gladly received by the council.
"This funding really gives council the chance to look at Winburndale Dam as a viable option for a back-up water supply for residents," he said.
"This is an example of the state government and local council working together in partnership during these extremely dry times."
Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the NSW Government was working with councils and communities to invest in critical water initiatives and infrastructure.
"Without rain these towns will be forced to increase water restrictions to prolong town water supplies," Ms Pavey said.
For further information on NSW Government's drought support measures, visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au.