Future water for our region

Future Water Project 2060

Through our Future Water Project 2060, we are delivering the new water sources needed – in conjunction with ongoing water saving measures – to tackle the critical water security challenges confronting our regional drinking water supply.

With growth set to continue across the Northern Rivers, demand for water from our regional supply is forecast to increase almost 40 percent by 2060. At the same time, the amount of water available from our existing sources is forecast to decrease by over 20 percent due to changing climate conditions.

Project stages

The Future Water Project 2060 sets out a three-stage approach to secure our regional water supply until 2060 and beyond.

Three stage Future Water Project 2060 infographic

In stages one and two we are focused on sourcing groundwater from the Clarence-Moreton Basin Groundwater Source, a deeper groundwater source below the Alstonville Basalt Plateau Groundwater Source, as well as further investigations into groundwater in the Tweed-Brunswick Coastal Sands Groundwater Source in the Tyagarah area to boost the regional supply and meet forecast demand until 2040.

These first two stages will also see us:

  • develop a pilot purified recycled water plant
  • transform Woodburn's groundwater resources into a regional drought emergency supply
  • implement more innovative water conservation measures to better manage regional demand.

Central to stage three is the delivery of further new water sources capable of cost-effectively, adaptive and sustainably securing our regional supply beyond 2040. Ultimately, this will depend on our extensive investigations into more groundwater schemes and the potential use of modern, developing water supply options (such as purified recycled water and desalination) as additional sources.

Project status

In July 2021, our three-stage Future Water Project 2060 was adopted following two extensive public exhibition periods. Work to implement stage one is underway. Stage two planning and other investigations have also started. Read our latest project update to find out where we are up to with delivering the Future Water Project 2060.


The Future Water Project 2060 is delivering Rous’s Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy. It supersedes and has been informed by the technical investigations prepared for and following the 2014 Future Water Strategy. You can read more about the 2014 strategy and these investigations here.


New water sources
Project updates
Community resources
Technical studies
DPE Water concurrence

Frequently Asked Questions