MidCoast Council will receive up to $8.5 million from the NSW government as part of its response to drought.
NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the funding was in addition to more than $1.55 million already provided to council for infrastructure projects and more than $550,000 for water carting to high risk drought areas.
The government will continue to support council with the development of several drought response projects.
"Until recently, the Mid Coast of NSW was struggling through the most severe drought on record for the region," Mrs Pavey said.
A key project the funding will support is the expansion of the Nabiac borefield and treatment plant.
"While rainfall since January has seen storages filled and water restrictions lifted, this project will diversify water supplies, reducing the reliance on surface water supplies and future risks of water supply failures," Mrs Pavey said.
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MidCoast Council mayor David West was over the moon about the announcement.
"I'm so pleased the NSW government has come to the fore as it has done in the past in working with council to develop our resources to a point where we're able to provide security for the community," Cr West said.
"I believe this is the lifeblood of a community like ours which is so reliant on water security.
"I'm indebted to the State government, Minister Pavey and (Myall Lakes MP) Stephen Bromhead for seeing how important it is to the community."
Cr West said long term water security is also important for economic growth and key industries in the region.
Mr Bromhead agreed, and said the funding would provide an economic boost.
"The government has moved quickly and decisively to assist regional NSW during the drought and the COVID-19 crisis," Mr Bromhead said.
Until recently, the Mid Coast of NSW was struggling through the most severe drought on record for the region.Melinda Pavey, NSW Water Minister
"I look forward to seeing the finalisation of this project in the next year, putting the water supplies for the communities in the Manning Great Lakes region in a better position ahead of the next drought and into the future."
The expansion of the Nabiac treatment plant is vital to the neighbouring borefield.
"The governments and council are working to develop a system which will drought proof us," Cr West said.
If bushfires didn't cause enough angst for the region, water supplies in the Manning scheme were considerably low last summer.
This left more than 75 per cent of Manning and Great Lakes residents at risk of running out of water.
It was thought for many years water supplies were secured. That was until the latest drought took hold and exposed the reality of the dire situation.
"Council did the best it could with the resources it had," Cr West said.
Cr West also discussed the impacts drought continues to have on local producers. More on this next week.
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