MidCoast Council has been acknowledged for its response to the 2019-20 drought with a highly commended accolade at the 2021 NSW Local Government Excellence Awards.
One of 12 finalists in the Disaster Recovery/Emergency Response Management - population under 100,000 category, was recognised alongside disaster resilience initiatives from Clarence Valley Council and the winner, Bega Valley Shire Council.
Water services personnel attended the awards ceremony in Sydney, including infrastructure and engineering services director, Rob Scott.
Mr Scott said it was pleasing to see council's efforts during the drought recognised among such a competitive field of finalists.
"Nobody wants to experience a drought like we experienced in late 2019 and early 2020, but it's reassuring to see the lengths we went to during that challenging period held up as an example for other councils to follow," Mr Scott said.
"The drought response project galvanised our staff right across the organisation.
"We developed and delivered a plan that balanced the ongoing supply of water to our community with water conservation and continued economic activity - and we did it all while facing the worst drought on record."
The award coincides with the council publication, A Drought Like No Other, a comprehensive review of its 2019-2020 drought response strategy.
Nobody wants to experience a drought like we experienced in late 2019 and early 2020, but it's reassuring to see the lengths we went to during that challenging period held up as an example for other councils to follow,Rob Scott
A 28-page illustrated document, it provides an extensive overview of how council managed such a severe and lengthy dry spell at a time when the region was also dealing with the impacts of the Black Summer bushfire crisis.
"I'm really pleased to be able to share this document with our community given the commitment they showed to conserving water during that period," Mr Scott said.
"It details the lengths we went to as a council to ensure our community could continue to access its most precious resource and takes an honest look at what worked, what didn't, and what we've learned from the experience going forward.
"I'd encourage everyone who lived through the 2019-20 drought to take a look at it."
The document is a result of a comprehensive review of council's drought response strategy.
It details the impacts the drought has had on future planning for water security in the region and outlines ongoing actions to better manage such an event in the future.
To read A Drought Like No Other, visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/droughtresponse