Greater Sydney Water Crisis: Leaks Equivalent to 19,000 Olympic Pools Each Year

Labor has condemned the NSW Government’s mismanagement of Sydney’s water supply, after a scathing report from the NSW Auditor General.

The report says the Government has left Sydney’s water supply “less resilient to population growth and climate variability, including drought,” and describes Sydney Water as “ineffective”.

Labor Shadow Minister for Water Clayton Barr said: “This report shows the NSW Government has failed to manage Sydney’s water supply.”

The damning report shows:

  • The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Sydney Water failed to investigate, implement and support water conservation initiatives
  • Sydney Water failed to meet all its operating licence requirements for water conservation
  • Limited planning and implementation of water conservation initiatives
  • Little focus on identifying new water conservation options and investments
  • Little policy or regulatory reform from the Government to ensure water conservation measures kept pace with demand and population growth

“A lot of people will be looking at the report and wondering whether Sydney’s water supply is secure. The Government must explain how they got this so wrong,” Mr Barr said.

Further information uncovered during NSW Parliament’s Budget Estimates shows a direct correlation between the amounts of funding cut from water network maintenance and increases in water lost or wasted due to leakages.

8.4 per cent of Sydney’s water is wasted because of leakages. That’s the equivalent of more than 19,000 Olympic swimming pools.