Showcasing a year of achievement

Annual Report 2022-23 captures key milestones

The past year was another defining one for WaterNSW as we helped manage the impacts of a third consecutive year of major floods across the state while continuing our ambitious business transformation program.

“As the floods receded across the state, at the start of 2023 our people and contractors swung into action to repair damaged infrastructure,” Andrew George, WaterNSW CEO and Managing Director, said. Notable examples were Lake Cargelligo’s dam embankments, the only access road in to Tallowa Dam and the Nepean Tunnel at Pheasants Nest.

“It’s a measure of how far we’ve come on our business transformation journey that we expertly managed our dams through record rain events in the past year, followed by quickly mobilising the significant recovery efforts, all while achieving our core business objectives and targets,” Andrew said.

“We accelerated delivery against our Corporate Strategic Plan priorities including better and faster water data, customer service, local connection, sustainability, reconciliation and safety, details of which you can find in our annual report.”

The WaterNSW Annual Report 2022-23 (PDF, 13653.76 KB) was tabled in NSW Parliament this week.

Cowra floods
Cowra was one of many towns along the Lachlan River flooded after back-to-back rain events in late 2022 created unprecedented flows into the state’s dams and rivers.
Burrendong Dam
If Burrendong Dam on the Macquarie River near Wellington had been empty in July 2022 it would have received enough water in Spring to fill and spill almost three times.

Customer and community engagement

“Our customer and community engagement transformation continued, responding to feedback that our customers and communities value local information and working with people they know and trust,” Andrew said.

In addition:

  • Our new regional managers are now in place, connecting with our customers and communities helping to ensure they have the information they need to stay up-to-date and informed, while also responding to local issues more quickly.
  • Our new team dedicated to stakeholder and community engagement began travelling across the state, consulting more widely and deeply than ever before on our pricing proposal for 2025-2030.
  • Our Customer Advisory Groups continued to provide us with insights on issues ranging from value for money for our infrastructure and maintenance activities, through to cost of living pressures.

Faster and better water data

“Our digital transformation continued, making it easier for our customers to do business with us,” Andrew said.

Some highlights include:

  • Consolidating multiple telemetry systems, improving data integrity, and using Internet of Things (IoT) technology in groundwater monitoring.
  • WaterInsights online data tool now provides public access to all of our near real-time data - to help our customers make decisions by better understanding what water is present in the system, and the rules on how the water is used, shared, traded and managed.
Rice Growers Conference
Our community engagement team attended the Australian Rice Growers Conference in Griffith in August 2022 to talk with customers about our next pricing proposal.
Weir gates
We began a program of essential maintenance work that provides greater value to customers by extending the life of our weir gates by up to 25 years.

Prioritising safety and sustainability

“Creating a legacy for generations to come is at the heart of what we do at WaterNSW, which is why building a sustainable future is part of our Corporate Strategic Plan,” Andrew said.

This year we:

  • Announced the first of several renewable energy agreements with a potential pumped hydro project in the Central West. We assessed more exciting large scale renewable energy proposals in the pipeline, as we identify opportunities to better utilise our land and water assets to generate and store renewable energy.
  • Moved towards embedding a generative safety culture as part of our safety frontier plan - to protect our people, contactors, and suppliers, and the communities in which we operate. This is something we continue to work on.
  • Refreshed our site-based risk assessments for new or emerging public safety hazards, including safety inspections at our major dams and river structures, and developing treatment action plans to protect recreational water users.

Reconciliation action

“Our reconciliation journey continued as we delivered on commitments in our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and worked to develop our Innovate RAP, the second level in the Reconciliation Australia RAP framework,” Andrew said.

In particular:

  • Our RAP working group helped us deliver actions such as developing a co-design principles framework enabling early engagement during WaterNSW project delivery to manage cultural heritage values and to identify procurement and employment opportunities.
  • We also negotiated land access for traditional custodians at Chaffey Dam near Tamworth for activities associated with cultural practice and connection.
Minister Jackson
We welcomed the new NSW Water Minister Rose Jackson to Warragamba Dam to showcase the breadth of our dam operations and catchment management.
Tamworth MoU
We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council giving access to traditional custodians to lands near Chaffey Dam for cultural practice.
Warragamba Dam

Warragamba Dam Visitor Centre welcomed 72,000 visitors and 3,500 students on excursions.

Our year at a glance

  • 465 gigalitres of water delivered to supply Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Goulburn regions.
  • 97.8% of water available for supply to Greater Sydney met agreed standards.
  • 4,032 gigalitres of rural water delivered to customers.
  • 95% recovery through insurance of costs incurred to repair flood damaged assets.
  • More than 5% improvement in customer satisfaction.
  • 220 employees completed 2-day First Nations cultural training.
  • 72,000 visitors to Warragamba Dam Visitor Centre.
  • 3,500 students educated on curriculum-linked excursions at Warragamba Dam.

Published date: 1 December 2023

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WaterNSW acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and pay our respects to all elders past, present and emerging. Learn more