Cowarra Water Supply Scheme


We are holding an industry briefing session for this construction project on Thursday 4 April from 11:30am - 3:00pm at the Glasshouse, 30-42 Clarence St Port Macquarie. Local contractors and suppliers of goods and services to the construction industry are invited to attend to learn about the project and demonstrate their capabilities to potential principal contractors.

You can register your intention to attend this briefing by completing the registration form before Thursday 28 March 2024. Stands and desks can be provided on request for participants to exhibit capabilities.

Register now

Our local government area currently has an estimated population of 86,400. By 2046, our community is projected to grow to a population of approximately 115,302.

We are proactively planning for an increased demand on our communities’ drinking water, to ensure that we have the capacity to continue providing safe and secure water.

At the moment, we have several water supply schemes in operation. The Hastings Bulk Water Distribution Scheme is comprised of the systems that send water to Wauchope, Port Macquarie and Camden Haven. The smaller communities of Comboyne, Long Flat and Telegraph Point have their own water supply schemes.

To sustain our growth, we’re delivering the Cowarra Water Supply Scheme, that includes construction of a new water treatment plant (WTP), just south of Cowarra Dam. The water treated here will be distributed to Sancrox, Thrumster, Port Macquarie and Camden Haven communities, which are identified as key areas of growth.

We are committing a significant investment for this upgrade to ensure the security of supply, and enhance the quality of drinking water for the community.

This Scheme received State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) status in recognition of its importance to regional growth.

Option Evaluation Phase of the Scheme is completed and Concept Design of the Scheme is near completion. After announcement by the State government in contribution of $450,000 towards the design and investigation of the Cowarra Water Supply Scheme under the NSW Government’s Safe and Secure Program, we commenced the preparation of Environmental Impact Statement which will progress to the public exhibition phase under the SSI’s approval pathway.


What are the proposed works?

Construction of a new water treatment plant (WTP), just south of Cowarra Dam.

In conjunction, we will construct a clear water reservoir and northern arm trunk main from the reservoir to the water distribution systems of Sancrox, Thrumster and Port Macquarie.

We are also continuing the construction of the southern arm trunk main along Houston Mitchell Drive to directly connect to the Camden Haven water distribution system.

Project benefits

This project aims to:

  • increase water supply to address future demand
  • enhance water security during low and high rain events
  • optimise network storage and connectivity by creating a water supply ring main
  • upgrade the water supply system to ensure reliable delivery of water to the community
  • provide multiple barrier treatment to improve water quality
  • improve reliability, redundancy, and resilience of our regions water supply infrastructure.


The initial project scoping, study and option evaluation have been completed.

The remaining project milestones are:




Concept Design

March 2023

February 2024

Enviromental Impact Statement and Determination

July 2023

September 2024

Preparation of Tender Specifications, Tendering and Contract Awarded September 2024  May 2025 

Detailed Design and Construction

June 2025

September 2027


September 2027

December 2027

*Timeline is subject to change.


Further information on this State Significant Development can be found on the Department of Planning and Environment’s Major Projects Portal