Riverina Water management plan takes out award

Wagga Wagga based water utility Riverina Water has taken out the state’s top water supply award for it 30 year plan for managing the region’s drinking water.

The Sam Samra award, which recognises the most improved local government water or sewerage provider across the state, was presented at the recent LGNSW water conference in Narrabri in February.

Riverina Water CEO Andrew Crakanthorp and Manager Operations Jason Ip

The judges applauded Riverina Water for its Integrated Water Cycle Management strategy that sets out how the region’s drinking water needs will be managed until 2050.

The plan integrates four urban water treatment plants, three rural water treatment plants, associated trunk systems and urban reticulation.

“The IWCM plan enabled Riverina Water to accommodate for growth in water demand, asset renewals whilst improving levels of service and meeting governance requirements,” the NSW water Directorate said.

“Drought resilience was improved with rural schemes interconnected for multiple levels of redundancy. Planning for future resilience included increased storage and pumping capacity, as well as securing 1300 ML of additional high security water licence.”

Riverina Water collaborated with a range of stakeholders including NSW Health, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), Goldenfields Water, and Riverina Water constituent councils: Greater Hume Shire Council, Lockhart Shire Council, Federation Council and Wagga Wagga City Council.

The agency also got a shoutout for  future issues and opportunities to be managed through its plan, including a $22 million solar generation project, upgrading its telemetry system to a digital radio network, implementing its ICT strategic plan and implementing a new customer-centric software platform.

Riverina Water’s Chair Tim Koschel said the Sam Samra award was one of the most significant awards a council could achieve.

“Our community should be proud to know their drinking water is being supplied to the highest standard at an affordable rate – now and into the future,” he said in a statement.

Riverina Water provides drinking water to more than 76,000 people across 15,000 square kilometres.

It was formed in 1997 specifically for the purpose of water supply and it operates as a county council under the provisions of the Local Government Act.

The Sam Samra Award was established in 2017 as a memorial for the highly regarded public servant who was instrumental in a range of reforms that helped improve the performance of local water utilities in reginal NSW.

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