The New South Wales Water Commissioner David Harriss has revealed adjustments to the Snow Hydro’s water licence arrangements with an aim to better benefit water users and the environment.


Mr Harriss said the amendments had been made to the licence agreements was a reaction to recent drought conditions, followed by well above average rainfalls.


“With these variations to the Snowy Licence, we can expect an improved management of water that accumulates in Snowy Hydro’s storages following an extreme drought period,” Mr Harriss said.


The licence reform, known as the Dry Inflow Sequence Volume, represents the reduction in normal releases to the Murrumbidgee and Murray Valleys as a result of inflows that are lower than previous inflow sequences.


Under previous licence rules, the accumulated DISV had to be repaid as soon as the water became available. This resulted in some forced release of water through the 2010/11 water year from the storages below the Snowy Scheme at times that were not useful for consumptive water users.

Under the new rules any additional release of water due to accumulated DISV from previous water years will now be retained within the Snowy Scheme to support the reliability of future Required Annual Releases and to establish Drought Accounts.