Water Management and Supply

Council is responsible for providing a safe, reliable and cost effective drinking water supply which is customer focused, enhances the local area environment, and caters for the sustainable growth in the Dubbo Regional Council area. 


Council owns and operates its own water supply system and sources its potable water supply from the Macquarie River (100% for Wellington area) and for the Dubbo area the Macquarie River (typically 70%) and a total of 7 bores within the South Dubbo borefield (typically 30%). The water from is treated at the Wellington Water Treatment Plant and John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant (respectively) before being pumped to service reservoirs throughout the Wellington area and Dubbo area including the villages of Ballimore, Brocklehurst, Eumungerie, Mogriguy and Wongarbon.


The Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan (DCWERP) was prepared to ensure the community recognises the issues associated with drought management and their role in supporting Council's actions during drought or emergency incidents and a strategic mechanism for managing water supply in the Dubbo Local Government Area (LGA) during periods of drought or emergency incidents.

The DCWERP has been prepared to replace previous plans issued for both former Dubbo City and Wellington Council's. 

The plan also includes: 

  • Clear protocols to assist Council in its decision making and governance processes during drought events.
  • Emergency management processes and the appropriate high level responses.
  • Incorporation of NSW State Government Audit feedback from the Drought Management Plan 2015.
  • Integration of concerns identified in the NSW Advisory Integrated Water Cycle Management Issues Paper 2019.

 To obtain a copy of DCWERP please download here (PDF 14.8MB)


Council supply treated water to the City of Dubbo and surrounding local government area, servicing a residential population of approximately 40,491 of which 34,130 are connected to the reticulated water supply. Water is sourced from a licensed intake on the Macquarie River and a borefield located in South Dubbo, and treated at the John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant prior to being pumped to service reservoirs throughout the urban areas of Dubbo.

An Operational Environmental Management Plan has been prepared to document the following:

  • Regulatory requirements
  • Management system components including reporting, document control, training, complaints and review, and
  • Environmental risk identification, monitoring and management strategies associated with the water operations.

For a copy of our Operational Environmental Management Plan for Water Supply, please contact us.


Council's Water Entitlement Management and Trading Strategy helps guide future urban water supply planning to ensure:

  • Dubbo's long term security of water supply
  • Efficient management of water entitlements
  • Recognition that water entitlements are valuable community assets
  • Effective water purchases and trading activities
  • Transparency and accountability in water trading activities.

For a copy of our Water Entitlement Management Trading Strategy, please contact us.

Council is currently developing a process for selling unwanted water licences. Council's water trading process will be available on the website once plans are completed.


The NSW Government has strongly encouraged Councils to undertake Integrated Water Cycle Management planning for some time now.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment (formerly the Department of Water and Energy) published "Best Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Guidelines" in August 2007 which recommended six areas of best practice:

  1. Strategic Business Planning
  2. Pricing and Developer Charges (including Liquid Trade Waste Approvals)
  3. Demand Management
  4. Drought Management
  5. Performance Reporting
  6. Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM)

Items 1 - 5 have been addressed in the past.

The IWCM process required extensive input from Council staff and the wider community.

For  a copy of Council's IWCM, please contact us.

* A number of strategies are in place across different functions of Council. However, only strategies that have been adopted by the new Dubbo Regional Council will be available on the A - Z plans and strategies page.

Last Edited: 24 Jan 2023

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