A $1 million feasibility study is to look at doubling the capacity of Lake Rowlands dam, which supplies some of our smaller communities currently on Level 3 water restrictions.
The Lake Rowlands supply feeds Canowindra, Blayney, Canowindra, Manildra, Eugowra and Grenfell.
The NSW Government has announced the study, which will look at adding 2.2 metres to the existing wall to double the 4,500 megalitre dam capacity.
Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole, said preliminary studies would be completed by Central Tablelands Water.
"This will include details on a secure yield study, cost benefit analysis, engineering design, and a review of environmental factors," Mr Toole said.
"As well as the preliminary work needed for the project, the community and other stakeholders will be consulted on CTW's preferred option for the dam."
READ MORE:What do Level 3 water restrictions mean?
Central Tablelands Water General Manager Gavin Rhodes has welcomed the announcement, he says they've been lobbying for it for more than 20 years.
"This project is the first stage of the Lake Rowlands Augmentation three stage concept," he said.
"Stage 1 involves raising the height of the existing dam wall by 2.2 metres which will increase the capacity from 4.5 gigalitres to 8 gigalitres.
"This will help shore up the water security needs of our existing consumers now and well into the future.
"The second stage is the linking of Lake Rowlands to Carcoar Dam of which a final business case is currently underway by WaterNSW.
"The final stage and longer term project is a new dam further downstream increasing the capacity to over 26 gigalitres."
CTW chairman, Cr David Somervaille, said the timetable aligned with the final business case being undertaken by WaterNSW linking Lake Rowlands with Carcoar Dam.
"By combining these vital water security projects during the assessment and final business case stage, and if approved to proceed with full project delivery, it will enable the maximisation of benefits to be realised whilst improving water security for the region," Cr Somervaille said.
Nationals MLC Sam Farraway said the dam supplied some 10,000 customers in a number of smaller communities.
"The region was hit hard by the millennium drought and current conditions are also presenting a huge challenge to the region, with Level 3 water restrictions currently in place," Mr Farraway said.
"To ensure water security well into the future and build our economy, planning must start on the necessary infrastructure."