Review of the Metropolitan Water Plan: Final Report

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Technical report
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This report was commissioned by the NSW Cabinet Office to review the Metropolitan Water Plan 2004 (DIPNR, 2004a), and was undertaken by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney and ACIL Tasman with technical advice from SMEC Australia. In February 2006, our interim review report (ISF, 2006) showed how the supply-demand balance in 2015 could be met with rain-fed supply and a suite of demand management initiatives, and how Sydney’s water needs could be secured against the risk of severe drought by having the capacity to deploy groundwater and desalination. Subsequent to that report, the NSW Government committed, among other initiatives, to increased recycling, groundwater and desalination readiness in the case of severe drought, and the removal of the potentially high cost Level IV/V drought restrictions from the suite of possible drought response options. The current report incorporates analyses of the more recent decisions and presents a deeper examination of implications, risks and opportunities as key considerations for the 2006 Metropolitan Water Plan. We have assumed that the objectives of the Metropolitan Water Plan remain unchanged — ensuring adequate supply to meet demand through the current drought and forward at least 25 years, and contributing to improved environmental outcomes. We have also worked with the assumption that these objectives are to be pursued with an eye to community acceptability and cost-effectiveness, inclusive of environment and user, as well as water supplier costs.
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