NSW councils talk water

The conference brought together New South Wales councillors, local government professionals, government representatives and the water industry, providing opportunities for professional development, and site visits to important irrigation infrastructure in the area as well as to water wise farms.

During the opening address at the conference, President of the Shires Association Bruce Miller praised the increasing support and effort from local councils for the Water Loss Management Program, which has been extended until June 2011.

“The hard work and dedication of councils involved in the program is a key driving force in the extension of the program,” he said.

The Water Loss Management Program is a joint initiative of the LGSA and the New South Wales Water Directorate, and includes Commonwealth funding of $A7.3 million from the Water Smart Australia program.

President of the Local Government Association of New South Wales Genia McCaffery highlighted a number of councils that have developed new technology to help adapt to reducing water supplies.

The Orange Council was recognised for its receipt of a Green Globe Award and a New South Wales Water Environment Award for their Stormwater Harvesting Project at Blackmans Swamp Creek.

“In a first for Australia, Orange is harvesting stormwater for the city’s drinking water supply with a project that has international eyes focused on the central west of New South Wales.”

Mr Miller also cautiously welcomed the Murray Darling Basin Plan, saying that if developed in the right way, the plan had the potential to address the problem of reduced water availability.

A full wrap of the conference, as well as past conferences can be viewed here.

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