Water and Waterways

The Dubbo local government area is located within the Macquarie - Bogan catchment, part of the Murray Darling Basin, covering 74,800 square kilometres and regulated by two major storages – Burrendong and Windamere Dams. The Macquarie River is one of the major rivers running through the catchment.  It begins in the Great Dividing Range south of Bathurst and flows north-westerly through Wellington and Dubbo until it joins the Barwon River near Brewarrina. The main sources of potable water supply for  Dubbo and Wellington include the Macquarie River (typically 70%) and bore water (typically 30%).

Our waterways are important to the community because they: 

  • Provide water for drinking and industry
  • Transport and store water, drain land and carry flood waters
  • Are a significant part of Aboriginal and other Australian heritage
  • Provide opportunities for recreation, tourism and community activities
  • Provide distinctive landscape features and have aesthetic values
  • Support biodiversity and provide habitat for flora and fauna, including threatened species

Over the past two centuries, our land clearing, farming practices, invasive plants and animals, unsustainable water usage, increased urbanisation, poor industrial and business practices, and climate change, have contributed to the degradation of the health of our waterways. Signs of this decline in the health of our waterways include the loss of biodiversity, toxic algal blooms, declining water availability and water quality, increased salinity, and sedimentation. This in turn affects the health of our rivers, creeks and wetlands.

A number of key legislation, plans and policies exist at a national, state, regional and local level to guide future water and waterway management. These include the National Water Quality Management Strategy, the Murray Darling Basin Plan, the NSW Water Quality and River Flow Objectives, the Central West Local Land Services Local Strategic Plan and Dubbo and Wellington Community Strategic Plans

Dubbo Regional Council is an active member of the Central West Environment & Waterways Alliance.  This is a partnership of 18 Councils across Central Western NSW, working in conjunction with the Central West and Central Tablelands Local Lands Service to improve environmental outcomes.  Council also plays an integral role in the management of local water resources through its role as a water utility manager, and through strategic planning, development controls, compliance and regulation, management of sewage and stormwater, and education of the local community. 



Last Edited: 06 Dec 2021

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