Dam experts from WaterNSW are partnering with Armidale Regional Council to enhance the monitoring of local dam infrastructure.

A visit to Dumaresq and Malpas dams this week is part of a WaterNSW partnership with local councils under the NSW Government’s Town Water Risk Reduction Program (TWRRP) which is an initiative of the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

“One of the big lessons from the most recent drought is the water sector must collaborate more closely to build expertise and provide better access to niche skills outside normal local government functions,” says WaterNSW Executive Manager Strategy and Performance, Fiona Smith.

“One of those niche but critically important functions are the five-yearly risk reviews required under the Dams Safety Act 2015 to protect local communities and dam infrastructure.

“WaterNSW is a national leader in the water sector, operating most of the large dams in NSW, which is why our experts are well placed to help councils and local water utilities identify risk and fast track improvements to dam safety and water quality.

“The site visits to Dumaresq and Malpas dams are the first steps in our partnership with Armidale Regional Council.

“We’re delighted to have our team working alongside Council officers to advise on their next risk review of these important local dams, and to advise on other potential compliance improvement measures,” Ms Smith said.

The TWRRP brings the strengths of major entities in the water sector, like WaterNSW, to local councils, to provide extra support to help improve water security, quality and reliability by enabling them to tap into the skills and knowledge that will best assist them.

WaterNSW has received NSW Government funding under the TWRRP to work with councils on dam safety risk assessments and to help improve the monitoring of raw water quality. Under the program, DCCEEW provides ongoing support and expertise, free of charge to Councils, to improve water treatment including providing training to water operators and funding to Councils to carry out upgrades to plants.