A NSW Government website

Town Water Risk Reduction Program

The program

Identifying long term solutions to water & sewerage service challenges & risk in regional towns.

Kayaking on the Murray River.

About the program

The NSW Government in partnership with local water utilities and the wider water sector are collaborating on the Town Water Risk Reduction Program to develop and implement a new approach of working together that enables local water utilities to manage risks and priorities in town water systems more strategically and effectively and, as a result, reduce risks in regional NSW communities over time.

The program’s focus is on working together with the sector to identify the most fundamental barriers within state and local government that prevent effective and strategic risk management, and to develop and implement long-term solutions to these barriers.

The program is based on a new partnership approach, which recognises and leverages the wealth of expertise within Councils and Local Water Utilities and provides opportunities for these stakeholders to design and refine better solutions in collaboration with the department.

The program supports a broader set of changes that the department is leading, aimed at enhancing the capacity of the NSW water sector to manage this critical resource in a strategic and coordinated manner. Other major changes include the development of 12 Regional water strategies that will bring together a wide range of tools and solutions to plan and manage the water needs in each NSW region over the next 20-40 years.

Our vision for town water

The department’s overarching goal for this program is to work collaboratively with stakeholders to build a town water sector where:

  • stakeholders, including the department, work together in partnership, sharing data and knowledge, consulting and collaborating with one another, and supporting each other where applicable
  • local water utilities are supported to manage safe, secure and sustainable water supply and sewerage services in an efficient and customer-focused manner
  • the regulation of local water utilities is focused on outcomes, based on risk and the maturity of local water utilities, and is fair and transparent. Regulators are accountable and well-coordinated.

Partnership approach

The department has learned from the challenges encountered by previous change programs, and is putting these at the centre of the Town Water Risk Reduction Program by adopting a robust partnership approach with the following key elements:

The process for a partnered approach
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Stakeholder Advisory Panel

A central element of the Town Water Risk Reduction Program is a partnership approach which aims to recognise and leverage the wealth of expertise within councils, local water utilities and relevant government agencies. The team will utilise the Stakeholder Advisory Panel to advise, help design, facilitate and refine the program and to identify broader engagement opportunities.

Visit the Stakeholder Advisory Panel

Further information

Visit further information for frequently asked questions and past newsletters.