NSW Murray water sharing plan starts
The New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has announced the commencement of the water sharing plan for the unregulated upper and middle NSW Murray sub-catchments and Upper Murray alluvium.
“The water sharing plan covers 15 unregulated surface water sources and one groundwater source in the NSW Murray River catchment in the Tumbarumba, Tooma, Corowa, Howlong and Deniliquin districts,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“The plan will provide a secure and sustainable water supply for all users and improve the health of our riverine and groundwater dependent ecosystems.”
Ms Hodgkinson said the development of the plan involved extensive consultation and recommendations from a wide range of water users and community interests.
“The plan has been improved to address the issues raised by individuals and groups during the exhibition of the draft plan.”
“This water sharing plan is essential for the sustainable management of this vital resource, providing the community, environment, towns, agriculture, and industry with security and certainty of access.”
“The plan aims to protect water sources and their dependent ecosystems, through the establishment of environmental rules, limits on water extractions and the protection of basic landholder rights to access water.”
“The plan also benefits water trading and enables users the flexibility to change and adapt to future demands and climatic circumstances.”
The plan applies to all unregulated rivers and creeks in the NSW Upper and Mid-Murray sub-catchments, along with the Upper Murray Alluvium and outlines how water will be shared over the next ten years.
“All water licence holders affected by the plan will shortly receive information on what the plan means to their respective activities for accessing water.”
The announcement coincides with the DPI commencing water sharing plans covering the Lower Murray-Darling catchment area. The plan will cover all unregulated rivers and creeks in the NSW catchments of the Lower Darling Rivier and Murray River downstream of the Murrumbidgee Junction, as well as including alluvial aquifers alongside the Lower Darling River.
“It includes the towns of Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Euston and Wentworth and also covers the Lower Darling alluvium,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“The plan will provide a secure and sustainable water supply for all users and improve the health of our riverine and groundwater dependent ecosystems by addressing current needs, future requirements and setting aside environmental water.”
Copies of the Water Sharing Plan for the Murray Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources 2011 can be obtained from the NSW Office of Water website – www.water.nsw.gov.au