Bega Valley Shire Council provides reticulated water to nineteen towns and villages in the Bega Valley Shire local government area and to two villages in the Eurobodalla Shire. The Council, as a local water utility, is responsible for providing safe, reliable, affordable and good quality water to all customers.
The Bega Valley Shire Council adheres to a number of guidelines, regulations and standards for water supply, including:
- Australian Drinking Water Guidelines
- Best Practice of Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Guidelines
- Water Management Act, 2000
- Water Supply, Sewerage and Trade Waste Pricing Guidelines
Water supply systems in the Bega Valley Shire
The Bega Valley Shire covers an area of approximately 6052 square kilometres and is one of the largest coastal shires in NSW. There are four water supply systems that provide water services within this area, namely:
Water for these systems is sourced from catchments located within the Bega Valley Shire.
Population receiving water supply services
Water is provided to approximately 29 000 people and 45 000 people during peak holiday times. There are approximately 13 000 residential properties and 1 200 non-residential properties connected to a Council water supply system.
Aims and challenges
Important water service aims for Bega Valley Shire Council are:
- Continuous water supply to customers
- Good quality potable water
- Adequate pressure for domestic use and fire-fighting purposes
Achieving these aims requires planning, investigations, operations and capital works programs, undertaken by the Water and Sewerage Services Department of Council.
Day to day challenges for the Bega Valley Shire Council as a local water utility include:
- High peak demand for water during tourist season
- Upgrading infrastructure to meet population growth, water sharing plan requirements and drinking water guideline requirements
- Escalation of capital works and operation costs and the impact on service affordability in a shire with a low customer base
Managing Bega Valley’s future water supply
Important future water supply planning issues for Bega Valley Shire Council include:
- Water quality management
- Drought management
- Water sharing and water access
- Population growth and water use
- Climate change
New capital works projects to meet future needs include:
- Bega to Yellow Pinch Dam pipeline (complete)
- Water treatment (filtration) plants for each supply system
Bega Valley Shire villages not serviced by Council
The villages of Wyndham, Towamba and Wonboyn are not serviced by a Council reticulated water supply system. Wyndham has a community-owned and operated reticulated water system. Towamba and Wonboyn villages rely on rainwater tanks.
Water use in the Bega Valley
Wise water use is encouraged in the Bega Valley Shire. The average household uses approximately 450 litres of water per day in the Shire; 165 kilolitres per year. The SaveWater Alliance website provides many tips on how you can save water and money.