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Water Efficiency Program

Regional Leakage Reduction Program

A key aspect of the Water Efficiency Program is addressing network leakage and water loss as a priority.

Regional leakage reduction program

Addressing leakage

Addressing network leakage and water loss is a key priority of the Water Efficiency Program.

The need to focus on local water utilities’ network leakage and water losses became apparent during the drought and has been reinforced during consultation with Councils and the wider sector as part of the Town Water Risk Reduction Program.

The department is undertaking a Regional Leakage Reduction program in collaboration with the NSW Water Directorate and local water utilities that targets the pillars of effective leakage management. The program focuses on where the NSW Government can provide the most value to local water utilities, enhancing their ability to identify leaks and target and fix leaks as part of their asset management frameworks.

The first stage of the program aims to save up to 7.5 billion litres of water by the end of 2024.


Local water utilities can register their interest below.


Active leak detection

Thirty regional local government areas have participated in the leak detection component of the program, with more than 1,100 leaks detected thanks to the surveyance of 4,500 kilometres of water mains.

Many of these leaks have already been repaired by local water utilities, saving more than 1.7 billion litres of water per year.

The department will engage service providers to work closely with local water utilities and survey a further 5,000km of pipeline before June 2023, with an additional 2,500km set to be surveyed in late 2023.

Network Leakage Reduction Grants for local water utilities

The Regional Leakage Reduction Program provides grants to local water utilities to help reduce non-revenue water levels. The program co-funds selected projects with local water utilities in the areas of capacity building, pressure management, leakage control and metering.

Successful applicants are required to co-fund projects, which is in line with the Safe and Secure Water Program subsidy levels and requires a contribution ranging from 10% to 75%.

Example projects include the supply, installation and capacity building in the use of:

  • pressure data loggers
  • pressure reducing valves
  • leak noise loggers
  • electronic listening sticks and ground microphones
  • bulk and district metered area meters
  • accuracy testing of customer meters.

Councils that provide water supply and/or sewerage services under Section 56 of the Local Government Act 1993 are eligible to apply.

Applications closed

Applications are now closed on the latest round of grants. For more information about the program or future funding please email us at water.efficiencyprogram@dpie.nsw.gov.au

Central NSW Joint Organisation partnership

The department is partnering with the Central NSW Joint Organisation and its member councils to reduce non-revenue water loss across 10 local water utilities.

The partnership has reduced leakage in central NSW thanks to pilot projects based on water loss maturity audits. The pilot projects will be fully delivered by the end of 2023 and are focused on the areas of pressure management, bulk metering and/or leak detection.

The Central NSW Joint Organisation partnership is also co-designing a Regional Water Loss Management Centres’ approach, that can be replicated elsewhere, combining local expertise with expert know-how  to sustainably reduce water supply network leakage.

Partnership approach

We have a dedicated Water Efficiency Program team who are collaborating with key stakeholders, including the Water Directorate, Local Government NSW, local water utilities, industry leaders and other government agencies.

Email us to stay in touch on water efficiency programs or for more information.