A NSW Government website

Nyngan to Cobar pipeline project

Frequently asked questions

View answers to frequently asked questions about the project.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the project

View answers to frequently asked questions about the proposed Nyngan to Cobar Pipeline Project.

Where is the project up to?

The project is in development with the concept design activities for the pump stations (Stage 1) and proposed pipeline replacement (Stage 2) now complete.

At the same time, environmental, cultural heritage and geotechnical assessments, as well as landholder and community consultations, are taking place to help inform the development of the final business case for Stage 2 of the project (proposed pipeline).

The final business case for Stage 2 of the project will be completed in the second half of 2024 and an investment decision will be sought from the NSW Government once the final business case is endorsed.

Who is responsible for developing and delivering the project?

The department’s Water Group is leading the development and delivery of Stage 1 of the project (pump stations) and the final business case for Stage 2 of the project (proposed pipeline). Cobar Water Board is contributing to the design and development of the project.

Where are the new pipeline and pump station going to be located?

The new pumping stations (Stage 1) will be constructed within the vicinity of the existing pump station site, with the pipework arrangement to be determined during the design phase to ensure continuity of water supply.

The proposed new pipeline (Stage 2) will follow the existing pipeline alignment for most of its length.

The concept design phase will assess the impacts of the proposed pipeline alignment and pump station locations to private properties, ecology, biodiversity, hydrology, cultural heritage, economic factors and geotechnical (ground) conditions when determining the final alignment of the pipeline and location of pump stations.

When will the final business case for Stage 2 (proposed pipeline) be submitted for consideration?

The final business case for Stage 2 of the project will be completed in the second half of 2024 and an investment decision will be sought from the NSW Government once the final business case is endorsed.

What environmental and technical assessments are being conducted as part of the project?

The department’s Water Group is currently conducting environmental and technical assessments as part of developing the review of environmental factors (REF) for the project and the concept design of the pump stations and proposed pipeline.

These assessments are investigating:

  • Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • non-Aboriginal heritage
  • contamination and soils
  • aquatic ecology
  • terrestrial ecology
  • geotechnical factors
  • noise and vibration.

In addition, the REF will also include an assessment of:

  • traffic and transport
  • waste
  • land use and property
  • bushfire
  • flood
  • hydrology
  • surface water and groundwater
  • social
  • climate change and greenhouse gases
  • ecologically sustainable development.

How much will the project cost and how will it be funded?

Funding for Stage 1 of the project (pump stations) totalling $45.5 million has been secured with equal contributions from the NSW and Australian Governments (of $22.75 million).

This funding will allow the department’s Water Group to progress with the replacement of the pump stations while continuing the relevant studies and investigations required to inform the final business case for the proposed pipeline replacement (Stage 2).

The final business case for Stage 2 of the project will be completed in the second half of 2024 and an investment decision will be sought from the NSW Government once the final business case is endorsed.

Independent cost estimators will be appointed to review costings before the final business case is submitted.

What other options were considered to address the project needs?

A technical feasibility review was undertaken to produce a shortlist of options. An initial analysis of these options eliminated many as they would not provide sufficient water security and water supply capacity for Cobar, or they were cost prohibitive.

Non-infrastructure options were also investigated and discounted due to their practicality, their inability to meet demand requirements and cost.

The combinations of a new pipeline and pump station upgrades were considered the most feasible and cost-effective alternative and underwent a multi-criteria analysis.

Will local residents have to pay for the costs of the project?

The NSW and Australian Governments are co-funding all the capital costs for Stage 1 of the project (pump stations).

The department’s Water Group is currently developing a final business case for Stage 2 of the project (proposed pipeline) prior to an investment decision being made. There will be no cost recovery of these capital costs if the pipeline proceeds.

Once the pump stations and proposed pipeline are built, water rates will be determined by the future asset owner.

Who will own and operate the pump stations and proposed pipeline when/if they are built?

The existing pipeline and pump stations are currently owned and operated by Cobar Water Board.

The NSW Government is working closely with relevant stakeholders to determine who will own and operate the new pump stations and proposed pipeline once complete.

Will ownership of the pipeline impact water rates?

The cost of building the pump stations and proposed pipeline will not impact water rates. The capital costs of building the pump stations will be jointly funded by the NSW and Australian Governments, as will the costs of proposed pipeline if it proceeds.

Once the future ownership of the pipeline and pump stations is determined, it will be a matter for the asset owner to determine the appropriate water rates and any costs to water users required to cover ongoing operations and maintenance of the infrastructure.

How is the department’s Water Group engaging with the community, stakeholders and affected landholders on the project?

The 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 many opportunities for our 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 public engagement opportunities will be highlighted on the project webpage and on the Water Group’s have your say page.

Will there be interruptions to current water supply?

Minimal disruptions to the water supply are anticipated during the construction of the pump stations (Stage 1) and the proposed pipeline (Stage 2).

Notifications will be provided to all customers if an interruption to water supply is required for construction purposes.

Which properties will potentially be impacted by the project?

The pump station replacements (Stage 1) will be constructed in the vicinity of existing pump stations with current landholder agreements and access arrangements to be confirmed.

The proposed new pipeline (Stage 2) will cross both public and private land and will be constructed below ground.

The department’s Water Group will consult closely with landowners to minimise potential impacts to properties during the construction of the proposed pipeline and to address any ongoing maintenance requirements.

Will landholders be able to access water from the new pipeline?

We appreciate future access to water is a major concern for landowners and we wish to assure landowners with an existing connection to the pipeline this access will be maintained once the proposed new pipeline is complete. We will be in contact with all affected landowners to discuss future access.

Will the project create local jobs?

As part of our commitment to investing in the communities where our projects are located, and to providing significant opportunities and economic benefits to regional areas, wherever possible we will seek to engage local contractors, First Nations businesses and local people to help develop and deliver our projects.

Local businesses interested in being involved with the project can register their interest on the Water Group's business register.

Whilst we can’t guarantee there will be opportunities for all registered businesses, the project provides this register to all partners and contractors as the first port of call when they need local services.

In addition, the Water Group selects project partners and contractors based on their history of using local suppliers and maximising local benefits from their projects.

What guidelines need to be followed when developing the final business case?

NSW Treasury sets the guidelines, key assumptions and parameters for the development of NSW Government business cases.

Additionally, Infrastructure NSW has guidelines around the investor assurance framework which the business case must comply with. As part of this, the department’s Water Group is required to demonstrate any potential project is fit-for-purpose, economically viable and potential impacts are managed.