Orange City Council has been investigating a range of options aimed at both reducing water consumption within the city as well as developing opportunities for diversifying supplies.
At the outset, the approach taken was not just to apply a short term solution to get through a water crisis in the hope that it would rain again and the problem would go away.
In contrast, it was recognised that a strategic solution was necessary, involving a large number of options if water security is to be guaranteed to the local community.
Demand management and system operating solutions are now in place across the city. These include:
As a consequence of these and other initiatives, water usage in Orange dropped to less than 3702 mega-litres in 2011, from a high of 7,100 mega-litres in 2002.
Demand management can only go so far and a range of major infrastructure projects have been delivered or are being investigated with the aim of delivering a sustainable supply for the city.
The Council is currently working on two projects to provide a sustainable water supply future.
The largest project is the Macquarie River to Orange Pipeline Project, which has been assessed and approved by the NSW and Australian Governments, with a number of conditions.
The second project is Raising of Suma Park Dam Wall, which is also in the investigation phase.
By 2014 the Council aims to have the capacity to deliver water from sources including surface water, groundwater, stormwater and the Macquarie River.
Orange City Council's goal throughout this process is to deliver Orange's Water Security.