A NSW Government website

Regional projects

Western Weirs Program

Assessing the feasibility of changing the operation of the existing river infrastructure.

Bourke Weir

About the project

Water Infrastructure NSW completed a strategic business case in November 2021 to examine the following overarching objectives of the Western Weirs Program including:

  • improving water security for towns in the far west region, including Aboriginal communities supplied by those towns
  • investigating infrastructure options to improve the adaptive management of flows along the system
  • investigating weir ownership and future funding arrangements, including consideration of local and state government concerns on the cost of ongoing operations and maintenance of critical river infrastructure.


The NSW Government has committed approximately $4.2 million from the Restart NSW Water Security for Regions Program, which aims to help regional communities improve water security, for the development and submission of a strategic business case for the project

The project’s strategic business case was completed in November 2021. It investigated both infrastructure and non-infrastructure options and the feasibility of holistically managing and operating the 28 weirs along the Barwon-Darling and Lower Darling Rivers, and adjoining tributaries.

Several of these weirs, including Weir 32 at Menindee and the weirs at Wilcannia, Pooncarie, Bourke and Collarenebri have been identified as priority sites for further assessment as part of the Better Baaka program.

Project benefits

If fully implemented, the program is expected to deliver:

  • better protection of Aboriginal People’s rights, interests and access to water
  • the construction of new infrastructure to meet town water security needs, which may include an integrated system of gated weirs to replace the current fixed crest weirs along all or parts of the river, or other cost-effective alternatives
  • the provision of fish passage on all new or augmented weirs
  • the removal of weirs and river structures that provide no effective water supply security outcomes and impede fish passage
  • amendments to the Water Sharing Plans, if new infrastructure improves the opportunity for adaptive management of flows
  • new ownership, maintenance, operations and cost recovery arrangements for infrastructure and operations along the river.

Location map

map of Western Weirs
Map of Western Weirs

Stakeholder engagement

Water Infrastructure NSW is committed to building and maintaining respectful, trusted and collaborative relationships with relevant communities and stakeholders to ensure this proposed water infrastructure project achieves the best possible outcomes.

We believe in engagement with real, tangible and practical outcomes enabling our communities to work in partnership to deliver projects realising a wide range of benefits with minimal disruption.

We will provide ample opportunities for local communities and stakeholders, including Traditional Owners and First Nations communities, to have their say on the project as it progresses.

Upcoming public 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 email westernweirs@dpie.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 081 047.