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Orange’s water supply

 135 Byng St, Orange
 02 6393 8000
 [email protected]

To report a broken water main or a leaking pipe, please call : 1300 650 511 

The city of Orange draws its water from a number of sources.

The Orange Raw Water Supply System is the industry standard term that describes these different sources of untreated ‘raw’ water and how they are managed by the Council to be used by the community of Orange.

These sources include :

  • the natural catchments of Suma Park, Spring Creek and Gosling Creek dams
  • the Blackmans Swamp Creek and Ploughmans Creek stormwater harvesting schemes
  • the Macquarie River to Orange Pipeline
  • Underground water bores


This graph shows the average daily water consumption of residential households (expressed in litres per person per day) in the Orange City Council area.  The light shaded areas provide a comparison of water usage during the corresponding three months of 2022 and 2023. The target water usage under the current Permanent Water Saving Standards is 220 litres per person per day.


23 March 2023184
16 March 2023185
9 March 2023172
2 March 2023185
23 February 2023174
16 February 2023181
9 February 2023187
2 February 2023178



Orange City Council has developed a plan aimed at ensuring that the environmental requirements and commitments made during the approvals process for the Macquarie River to Orange pipeline as well as other relevant licensing conditions, are implemented, monitored and reviewed as Orange’s (raw) water supply system is operated.

The Operation Environmental Management Plan (OEMP)  for the Orange Raw Water Supply System was formally approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment on 7 September 2016. Here is the formal Letter of Approval.

The version of the OEMP Orange Raw Water Management Plan from June 2018 is available here.

Decision Support Tool

Part of the OEMP, the Decision Support Tool (DST) is a document which determines how the raw water supply system will be operated, year to year, and particularly which sources of water will be used.

Using this document to guide its meetings, a water management team meets every three months to review a number of factors including :

  • climatic conditions
  • water supply levels
  • potential water sources

The group then recommends the mix of water sources to be used.

After each meeting, this team produces a Decision Support Tool Quarterly Report.

Previous reports:

An annual analysis of the year ahead has been completed – Decision Support Tool Water Year report 2022-23 


The quarterly reviews of the DST contain the Current Operating Rules.

Water Access Licences (Statement of Conditions)

The Orange Raw Water Supply system operates under a number of NSW Government-issued water licences. These documents include the conditions that govern how water from each source may be used.

WAL36161 80AL722751 Summer Hill Creek

WAL33891 80AL718055_Bell River

WAL29148 80AL715358_Lachlan Fold Belt MDB Groundwater Source

WAL36374 80AL722854 Macquarie River above Burrendong

WAL30283 80AL715991 Clifton Grove Bores

Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan

Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) is a planning process developed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Water (DPIE Water), with defined steps to effectively integrate water supply, sewerage and stormwater to achieve sustainable management of these services. The Orange IWCM Evaluation Study has followed these guidelines.

IWCM is a way of managing water in which all components of the water system are integrated so that water is used optimally. For a local water utility such as Orange City Council (OCC), this means that the three main urban water services – water supply, sewerage and stormwater – should be planned
and managed in an integrated way to ensure that the maximum value is obtained from the resources and that benefits to the environment and community are realised.
IWCM deals with the complex linkages between the different elements of the water cycle. It addresses issues facing local water utilities as well as the more general issues facing the environment. IWCM considers issues such as:

  • The future urban water service needs and customer expectations;
  • The availability of water including water sources such as surface water, groundwater, rainwater, effluent and stormwater; and
  • The impact of water, sewerage and stormwater on other water users including the environment and future generations.

IWCM  Evaluation Study -Executive Summary

IWCM Evaluation Study

Technical Note 1 – IWCM Obligations and Targets

Technical Note 2 – Orange Water Resources

Technical Note 3 – Potable Water Demand and Effluent Production

Technical Note 4 – Typical Residential Bill Analysis

Ever wondered how water from different sources, finds its way into Orange’s main water supply storage dam, Suma Park Dam? And, how it gets to your home?

And then what happens to the waste water after it leaves your home?

The water in the dam is pumped to the water treatment plant or, released as an environment flow, into Blackmans Swamp Creek, downstream of the dam.

After leaving the treatment plant, water flows into reservoirs around Orange through pipes and then to residents’ homes and businesses.

A network of sewers then takes waste water to the Sewerage Treatment Plant before the treated effluent is used by the mining industry or returned to the environment.


The combined storage of Suma Park and Spring Creek Dams.

The combined storage of Suma Park and Spring Creek Dams is currently 93.42%.


LocationDateLevel below spillway mm% of capacity
Suma Park Dam24 March 202392291.90%
Spring Creek Dam24 March 2023399.93%
Lake Canobolas24 March 20230100.00%
Gosling Creek Dam24 March 20234498.72%


Orange City Council is required to inspect, operate and maintain all four of its declared dams (Suma Park dam, Spring Creek Dam, Gosling Creek Dam and Lake Canobolas) in accordance with the Dam Safety Act 2015, Dam Regulations 2019 and associated guidelines.

Council is required to complete Annual Dams Safety Standards Reports for each dam. Each Report can be found by following the links below:

Dam Safety Report – Suma Park Dam
Dam Safety Report – Spring Creek Dam
Dam Safety Report – Gosling Creek Dam
Dam Safety Report – Lake Canobolas Dam