Toby Zerna
Toby Zerna

Widespread support to raise dams to help farmers, towns

MORE than 70 per cent of people across NSW support the raising of dam walls to help secure more water supply for towns and farmers in times of drought.

Nine days after The Daily Telegraph hosted a highly successful Bush Summit in Dubbo, an exclusive survey of 1400 respondents in NSW has found widespread support for increasing dam capacities.

The Newgate survey found that 76 per cent of respondents sup­ported the idea of raising dam walls, with just 7 per cent in opposition. The survey had a margin for error of plus or minus 3 per cent.

There has been a lot of support behind raising dam walls to help secure more water for drought-affected farmers and towns. Picture: Toby Zerna
There has been a lot of support behind raising dam walls to help secure more water for drought-affected farmers and towns. Picture: Toby Zerna


The breakdown for people living in the country was even more favourable, with 81 per cent of respondents in support of raising dam walls, and 5 per cent in opposition.

Meanwhile, 73 per cent of people living in the city supported the idea, with 8 per cent of respondents against.

Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the research "wasn't surprising", given that people know conserving water is the best way to ensure the state can survive during times of drought.

"The Coalition has committed $1.4 billion from the Snowy Fund to construct new dams and increase the storage capacity of others," she told The Daily Telegraph.

"There is $32 million in this year's budget to begin work on raising the wall of Wyangala Dam to ­increase the size of the dam by 650,000 megalitres."

Water Minister Melinda Pavey wasn’t surprised hearing how much support there is. Picture: Hollie Adams
Water Minister Melinda Pavey wasn’t surprised hearing how much support there is. Picture: Hollie Adams

Armidale's Malpas Dam could also be raised to double its capacity to 26,000 megalitres, and there is currently a parliamentary inquiry investigating a proposal to raise Warragamba Dam by 14m to help prevent future flooding.

Warragamba's water levels currently stand at 52 per cent of capacity, down 17 percentage points from July 2018.

According to WaterNSW, total water storage across Greater Sydney is just 50.9 per cent, down 0.3 per cent over the past seven days.



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