Peel planned environmental water rule suspended

Peel planned environmental water rule suspended

04 December 2019

The NSW Government has suspended clauses within the Peel Valley Water Sharing Plan as part of drought measures taking place in the region, WaterNSW announced today.

To minimise transmission losses associated with releasing water daily from Chaffey Dam, the rule in the water sharing plan requiring this daily release has been suspended.

The suspension of clauses 31(3) will enable WaterNSW to release environmental water from Chaffey Dam on a pulse release basis, rather than the daily release required by the clause.

The Peel River Regulated Water Source is currently declared as Stage 4 (Critical Drought) under the NSW Extreme Events Policy. Under this stage, critical human water needs have priority for the management of remaining water supplies.

Chaffey Dam is currently at 15.6% capacity and, if measures are not undertaken to conserve supplies, could be unable to supply Tamworth’s needs by June 2020 if drought conditions persist.

The NSW Government has committed an initial $5.3 million to complete water security projects to extend essential town water supplies to Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal and a further $39 million for a pipeline from Chaffey Dam. These works are being carried out by WaterNSW in two stages.

On Monday WaterNSW announced it has completed the temporary block bank as a weir on the Peel River near Dungowan. Water released from Chaffey Dam will flow down the river until it reaches the weir, and then will be piped into the Dungowan to Tamworth pipeline. This will assist in maintaining water supply to Tamworth until the second stage - the permanent pipeline from Chaffey Dam to the Dungowan pipeline is completed.

The work is a key part of the response to intense drought in the Peel valley and is intended to extend surface water town supply for Tamworth and other critical human needs.

For information on WaterNSW’s drought response visit:

T: 1300 662 077


Media contact: Tony Webber, 0428 613 478


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