The NSW Nationals in the state government have invested almost $57 million to complete critical water infrastructure projects for three communities in the Central West, as part of its emergency response to drought in regional NSW.

NSW Nationals Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the three water security projects in Orange, Bathurst and Condobolin will receive an additional $33 million – building on the $24.5 million announced in 2019.

“While the drought has eased in some areas, many towns continue to be at risk of water shortages or have already been living on severe water restrictions,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Despite recent rainfall, water supplies for communities in the Central West region continue to be at risk and this funding is crucial to ensuring their long-term water security.”

Local NSW Nationals Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the projects would diversify water supply options and improve long-term water security.

“In Bathurst, the investment will kick start the implementation of a stormwater harvesting system and replace the existing pipeline from Winburndale Dam to the Bathurst Water Treatment Plant,” Mr Toole said.

“The new pipeline from Winburndale Dam will allow access to water from the dam so it can be used to supplement drinking water supplies.”

NSW Nationals Upper House MP Sam Farraway said sustaining town water supply was critical to the maintenance of businesses and community viability, particularly during these challenging times.

“The investment will mean two critical projects will begin in Orange – a pipeline from Spring Creek Dam to the Icely Road Treatment Plant, and the Blackmans Swamp stormwater harvesting project,” Mr Farraway said.

“And Condobolin will be able to complete and connect a series of groundwater bores to the town’s water supply, and construct a pipeline to connect these groundwater bores to the Condobolin water supply.”

Since 2017, the NSW Nationals in the state government have invested more than $275 million for critical drought infrastructure projects and town water carting for regional NSW.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment will partner with Orange City Council, Bathurst City Council and Lachlan Shire Council to continue the work already underway on all projects.

“The government has moved quickly and decisively to assist regional NSW during the drought and the COVID-19 crisis,” Mrs Pavey said.

“These projects are drought response projects, but they will create permanent infrastructure that will improve the resilience of the central west for the years ahead and support its communities and economies.”