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Cobar Water Board


Cobar has suffered from lack of a reliable water supply from the time of its establishment in the 1870’s.

Water supply at that time was a single small earth dam. This soon proved inadequate for the developing mines and increasing population. Large in-ground storages for rainwater, called “tanks”, were constructed but also proved inadequate, especially at times of constant drought.

Full scale development of promising mines were hampered by the lack of water, and also falling copper prices, and eventually all mines in Cobar closed.

After the turn of the century other inland communities were feeling the disadvantages from the lack of a reliable water source, and so prompted the investigation into an open water channel. The project, called the Albert Priest Channel, from Warren to Nyngan was constructed in 1942 into which runs regulated water from Burrendong Dam and the Macquarie river.

The supply of water to the township of Cobar was now a little more reliant, being trucked from Nyngan to Cobar via the railway, where townspeople gathered the water in large iron tanks or whatever receptacles they could.

With the prospect of re-opening of a mine, water supply was once again on the agenda. Two options were investigated: pumping water to Cobar from the Darling River at Louth, and pumping from the Bogan River at Nyngan. As the Bogan River at Nyngan was fed from a more reliable source, the Macquarie River, the second option was chosen.

An Act of Parliament, “The Cobar Water Supply Act, 1963” was proclaimed in 1963 setting up the Cobar Water Board. The Board was given power as a Constructing Authority, and thus given the authority to construct the pipeline and install pumping machinery to transport water from Nyngan to Cobar.

The first pipeline, a 300mm diameter pipe, was constructed in 1963. A second pipeline, 375mm diameter, was laid parallel to existing line in 1983.

With the fore-sight of a handful of citizens, Cobar now enjoys a permanent water supply for both the township and its supporting mining industry.

The Cobar Water Board, a statutory body now administered under the “Water Management Act 2000”, continues to maintain a permanent water supply by employing best practice in the planning, management and operation of its assets. 

Access to Information

On 1 July 2010 new right-to-information legislation, The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act) came into effect, replacing the former Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

The GIPA Act focuses on making certain government information publicly available.

There are four ways in which government information is available.

  1. Mandatory Release:
    This generally includes information found on this website such as policy and general documents, the current Publication Guide, and the Disclosures Log.
  2. Proactive Release:
    These are additional documents that are made available to the public on this website and at the Administration Centre
  3. Informal Request:
    This is for specific information. Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 Cobar Water Board can choose to release this information without the need for a formal access application. Access via this path may be subject to reasonable conditions such as photocopying charges. Requests for information should be emailed to Cobar Water Board at mail@cobar.nsw.gov.au or contacted Cobar Water Board c/o Cobar Shire Council at the Administration Centre on 02 6836 5888.
  4. Formal Access Application:
    If you have not been able to obtain the information you need through any other form of access you can lodge a Formal Access Application. Unlike the Informal Request, you have a legally enforceable right to be provided with access unless there is an overriding public interest against the disclosure of the information. An application fee and processing charge may apply. A formal Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 Application Form will need to be completed and submitted to Cobar Water Board with the application fee.

You can find out more about the new legislation by going to the Office of the Information Commissioner NSW website.

Contracts Register 

Annual Reports

A full and comprehensive report of the Board’s activities may be viewed in its Annual Report by accessing the link below.

Under Section 125(1) of the Government Information (Public Access) Act, the Cobar Water Board must, within 4 months after the end of each reporting year, also prepare an Annual Report on the agency’s obligations under this Act for submission to the Minister responsible for the agency. A copy of this Annual Report is also available for perusal by accessing the link below.