$6 million for Tamworth to investigate recycling industrial water

The Federal and New South Wales Governments are investing $6 million to investigate water recycling in Tamworth to boost long-term water security.

The Federal and New South Wales Governments are investing $6 million to investigate water recycling in Tamworth to boost long-term water security.

This is the final business case to investigate building the state’s first regional industrial advanced water treatment plant. It would significantly reduce the amount of town water supply being used by the four major commercial processing and manufacturing businesses. It is believed that the reduction could be up to 12 megalitres a day by treating and recycling water used for industrial purposes.

The benefits of recycling industrial water include:

  • Diversifying water sources to reduce demand on the town’s water supply.
  • Improving long-term water security for the region, including during droughts.
  • Unlocking economic growth for agricultural businesses to expand operations without putting more pressure on Tamworth’s water network.
  • It addresses water salinity issues that impact water quality and the environment.

Partnership central to recycling water in Tamworth

The project is in partnership with Tamworth Regional Council. The Council has already completed much of the initial groundwork via a strategic business case. It is being funded thanks to $3 million from the Federal Government’s National Water Grid Fund and $3 million from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Separate from this initiative, the NSW Government has announced a further $3 million in the 2023-24 State Budget. It will deliver a strategic business case exploring the construction of intervalley pipelines. This initiative will also look at off-river storage to increase water supply and boost drought resilience for Tamworth.

The proposed pipelines would connect the city with Keepit or Split Rock Dams in the west and Manning Valley in the east. This will increase access to existing water sources.

Work on the industrial advanced water treatment plant business case has already begun. The timeline for the pipelines and new water storage business case is still being finalised. Both projects are expected to take 18-24 months to complete.

These water infrastructure options were all shortlisted in the Namoi Regional Water Strategy, which the NSW Government launched earlier this year.

Quotes attributable to Australian Government Water Minister Tanya Plibersek

“In Tamworth, we know the four major food processors use 25 per cent of the town’s treated water supply.

“We need to reduce the pressure on the system while supporting increasing demand.

“This project is an innovative way we can achieve this. It is one where we have listened to the local Council, just as I said we would at the Bush Summit earlier this year.

“It could see the equivalent of almost five Olympic swimming pools of water recycled every day.

“We know Australia is a dry continent with limited water supply. We are looking to do more with what we have through recycling is vital.”

NSW Minister for Water Rose Jackson said:

“We want every NSW community to have water security, and these investigations will help determine the region’s best solutions.

“The promise of the Dungowan Dam was an empty promise that never stacked up.

“We are focused on a multi-pronged approach that allows us to increase water supply and security long-term.

“With the region already feeling the early impacts of the declared El Nino, we have no time to waste getting on with the job to improve Tamworth’s long-term water security.”

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