Access to water is the lifeblood of NSW regional communities – the question is, how do they secure it in the face of changing climate, remote distances and extended drought conditions?
It is one of the challenging topics tackled in the new Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Climate Resilience Podcast, featuring insights from councils in the Namoi region that are on the front line of dealing with drought and water security issues.
LGNSW President Linda Scott said the podcast series also highlighted the urgent need for regulatory reforms to make it easier for councils to use recycled wastewater during droughts.
“I am proud of this professionally produced podcast series, drawing on the expertise of on-the-ground rural and regional councillors and staff who are dealing with issues that strike at the heart of their communities,” Cr Scott said.
“The first episode, On the Road, looks at the importance of water for Walcha Shire Council, on the south-eastern edge of the Northern Tablelands, in effectively maintaining more than 600km of gravel roads that are essential for its agricultural sector, the main economic driver in the region.
“The second episode, On the Farm, addresses how farmers can keep water in their soil for longer and improve productivity and as well as the role of councils in incorporating holistic agricultural practices into the vision for their local government area.
“The third episode, Regional City Water, tells the story of the leadership of Tamworth Regional Council in supporting their community to conserve water and prepare for future droughts following the longest drought in living memory.”
Cr Scott said these topics had been developed in liaison with LGNSW and the Namoi group of councils through the Increasing Resilience to Climate Change program.
“LGNSW is grateful for NSW Government funding to make these podcasts possible,” Cr Scott said.
“They will be an excellent resource for people in drought-affected areas of NSW and I encourage anyone who wants to better understand the challenges facing councils and communities in rural and regional NSW to download them and have a listen.”