Supplying Water to Sydney from the Southern Highlands
You might think we are “The Water Shire”, but do we REALLY have enough water to deal with rising temperatures and the growth of Sydney?
The Wingecarribee Reservoir supplies Bowral and Mittagong, and is part of the Shoalhaven Scheme which during drought tops up Sydney and Illawarra water supplies. Goulburn can also be supplied with water from the Wingecarribee Reservoir.
- By 2030 maximum temperatures in our region are projected to rise by 0.7 ºC and continue to rise by 2.1 ºC by 2070. (http://www.climatechange.environment.nsw.gov.au/Climate-projections-for-NSW/Interactive-map# )
- Sydney residents use 25% more water during summer than they do in winter, so increased water usage due to higher temperatures is likely.
- Sydney’s population is expected to grow from 4.3 million to 5.3 million by 2031, an increase of about 23%.
Recent studies by the Climate Council indicate:
- That by 2070 there could be a 25% drop in water inflows to Shoalhaven dams.
- Rainfall decreases of even 10% have “pretty serious” implications for urban water supplies
The net effect of higher temperatures, a growing Sydney population, and increased weather variability mean conserving water has to be a priority for our community. This includes ongoing water use as well as protecting our aquifer reserves wherever possible.
Our best Water Sector business opportunities are likely to be providing cost effective solutions for the sustainable management and use of water, locally and internationally.
Water Sector Summary: Oct 2015
Water Sector Summary: July 2015
Where we want to be by 2031
- Establish the Southern Highlands as a leading centre of industry, innovation and expertise, which provides tried and tested, cost effective solutions for the sustainable management and use of water (2031-EconDev-5.4.2)