Macquarie Priority Catchment Project

Macquarie Priority Catchment Project

The Macquarie Valley

The Macquarie River is a key inland regulated river in New South Wales. The river flows north-westerly from its headwaters near Oberon, passing through the townships of Bathurst, Wellington, Dubbo and Warren, the Macquarie Marshes before ultimately joining the Barwon River near Brewarrina.

The system is regulated by two dams, Windamere and Burrendong, which are owned and operated by WaterNSW.

About the Project

The Macquarie Valley has been identified in the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy as a priority valley for improved water management and critical water infrastructure projects.

Issues identified for the valley include low drought security and reliability; low delivery efficiency and high-water losses along rivers and creeks.

WaterNSW will conduct an investigation into potential options for improving issues of water security, reliability, delivery efficiency in the valley.

We have engaged Jacobs consultants as a delivery partner to assist in progressing the study.

Outcomes of the study will be detailed in a preliminary business case which is expected to be submitted to Infrastructure NSW for consideration.

Reason for the investigation

The study is to identify and define the scale of the water security problem in the Macquarie Valley and identify potential solutions.

By evaluating the effects of low water supply security on the region’s social, environmental and economic aspects WaterNSW can then recommend an optimal mix of options, including asset and non-build solutions.

Options to be considered

The optimal mix of options, including infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions will be considered as part of the study.

A comprehensive list of options shall be developed by the delivery partner in consultation with WaterNSW and further consultation with community/stakeholders. The options should consider infrastructure and/or non-infrastructure solutions to overcome the key issues identified.

Project timeline

The project is planned to take one year to complete. From there, the report is expected to be submitted to and considered by Infrastructure NSW.


WaterNSW has established a Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) for the Macquarie Priority Catchment Project. The SRG will be a key form of communication between key stakeholder groups and the project team throughout the options development process.

Contact us

To learn more about the project, contact our Customer Helpdesk on 1300 662 077.


Thursday 11 August
2,586,549 ML
2,618,706 ML
7,915 ML
1,131 ML
-7,208 ML
Thursday 11 August