Namoi Unlimited's just released draft strategy outlines water issues for Walcha and other member councils.

The Namoi River. Photo: Jessica Worboys
The Namoi River. Photo: Jessica Worboys

The region's water resources and the actions which will be taken to preserve water in the future for Walcha and beyond have been outlined in Namoi Unlimited's Water for the Future strategy, and locals are being welcomed to submit their thoughts.

The strategy makes 33 recommendations for actions local governments should take, including short and long term infrastructure to strengthen water security and changes to water planning and policy.

It also highlights the need for further studies and assessment to address data gaps to enable regional improvements to water management.

We cannot afford to wait for drought-breaking rain or long-term infrastructure projects

Eric Noakes Walcha mayor

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Namoi Unlimited chair Jamie Chaffey said the strategy was a step forward for the member councils and "will help guide our actions as a regional collaboration ... moving forward".

"We know water crosses council boundaries, as do the effects of drought, and by working together we can better navigate this dry period and plan for future drought events," Cr Chaffey said.

"While the water needs andconcerns of each member councilmay vary, we are united in our belief that local government should embrace best practice water management and fight on behalf of its residents for secure town water supplies.

"We know water is a critical enabler for economic growth and in many ways this report complements work already being done by Namoi Unlimited to understand and diversify economies and build vibrant and sustainable communities."

Cr Chaffey said while the report was "technical and complex", he believed the documents "assess the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats to water security in our region".

The documents are the biggest investment from the Namoi Joint Organisations in the past year, and will now be placed on public exhibition until Tuesday, July 30.

Walcha mayor Eric Noakes the report provided great value to the Walcha Shire and the Namoi Unlimited board was to be congratulated on the report's "detail, depth and professionalism".

"I have been sharing Walcha's water woes and advocating for new water storage for some time," Mr Noakes said.

"It's pleasing to see that this report recognises the value and importance of providing greater water security for Walcha.This report will complement existing feasibility studies undertaken by Walcha Council.

"We know action is urgently needed now, our farmers, families and business communities are hurting and we cannot afford to wait for drought-breaking rain or long-term infrastructure projects.

We know action is urgently needed now

Eric Noakes Walcha mayor

"Walcha has a wonderful reputation as a dynamic town and prime agricultural region. To protect that image and lifestyle it's essential a new dam is built to provide water storage on the Macdonald River."

Public comments are being sought before the strategy is endorsed for adoption and implementation. The strategy can be viewed at the Namoi Unlimited website and submissions can be made by emailing executive officer Rebel Thompson at info@namoiunlimited.nsw.gov.au.