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 (typically 70%) and a total of 7 bores within the South Dubbo borefield (typically 30%). The water from both sources is treated at the John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant in Macquarie Street (south) before being pumped to service reservoirs throughout the urban area of Dubbo and villages.


  • The Drought Management Plan provides direction in drought management activities and includes short term actions such as schemes of water restrictions, drought water pricing and obtaining additional water licences.
  • The Demand Management Plan outlines how Council aims to achieve efficient water use within the community.
  • The Regional Drought Management Plan is a regional system of water restrictions developed by Bathurst Regional Council, Orange City Council and Dubbo City Council (the BOD Alliance). The same system of restrictions has been agreed to by the Lower Macquarie Water Utilities Alliance member Councils also.

For copies of these plans, please contact us.*


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 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 Apr 2018

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