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Regional projects

Belubula Water Security Project

Delivering resilient water resources for all water users in the Belubula Valley.

Carcoar dam at sunset.

About the project

The proposed Belubula Water Security Project aims to improve water availability, efficiency and security across the Belubula Valley.

To achieve these aims, the department’s Water Group is investigating options aligned with the draft Lachlan Regional Water Strategy and the Macquarie-Castlereagh Regional Water Strategy. These options include:

  • a new pipeline between Lake Rowlands Dam and Carcoar Dam to transfer up to 2 gigalitres of water per year, capturing spills and boosting supply
  • raising the Lake Rowlands Dam wall to increase storage from 4.5 gigalitres to 8 gigalitres
  • building a new dam 2.5 kilometres downstream of Lake Rowlands
  • operational rules for an interregional pipeline connecting the Belubula and Macquarie valleys.

The department is working with WaterNSW and Central Tablelands Water on this project.

Project location

The Belubula Valley is part of the Lachlan catchment in central west NSW, within the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri, Gomeroi/Kamilaroi, Ngemba, Wailwan and Ngiyamapaa people.

The Belubula River rises midway between Orange and Bathurst flowing south and west through the towns of Blayney, Carcoar and Canowindra.

Project need

The Belubula Valley has relatively limited storage capacity in Lake Rowlands Dam. The dam fills quickly and frequently overflows, in part due to its limited size and highly variable rainfall. Inefficient water storage and unreliable access to water contribute to making the catchment very sensitive to droughts. This lack of water security creates uncertainties for business and may impact economic development.

Project benefits

Project benefits would include:

  • reduced water losses from Lake Rowlands Dam
  • improved water access reliability for communities and industries
  • strengthened regional water security.

Project funding

The NSW and Australian Governments are jointly funding $7.7 million to develop a final business case for the project, with the Australian Government contributing through the National Water Grid Fund.

The funding allows the NSW Government to conduct detailed planning work and technical, environmental and cultural heritage assessments, alongside broad community and stakeholder consultation to ensure the best infrastructure solutions are progressed.

The outcomes of these studies and consultations will be included in the final business case, which will guide future project funding decisions by the NSW and Australian Governments.

Stakeholder engagement

The department’s Water Group is committed to building and maintaining respectful, trusted and collaborative relationships with our communities and stakeholders to ensure water infrastructure projects achieve the best possible outcomes.

We will be offering opportunities for communities and stakeholders, including First Nations communities, to engage with us and provide feedback as we develop the final business case for the project.

Upcoming engagement opportunities will be highlighted on this project webpage and on the Water Group’s have your say page.

Contact us

If you have any questions or need more information about the project or the project activities email us BWSP@dpie.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 081 047.