Restrictions imposed on Maules Creek groundwater use

Restrictions imposed on Maules Creek groundwater use

18 October 2019

The NSW government has issued a temporary restriction on groundwater usage in the Maules Creek Groundwater Water Source upstream of Elfin Crossing.

The Temporary Water Restriction has been issued under section 324 of the Water Management Act and means that holders of an Aquifer Access Licence must not take water under that licence from the Upper Namoi Zone 11 Maules Creek Groundwater Source, upstream of Elfin Crossing.

This restriction will be in place from 18 October 2019 to 30 June 2020.

The restriction does not apply to;

  • bores accessing groundwater under basic landholder rights, or
  • for the purposes of testing metering equipment.

Due to the severe drought conditions, there has been no river flows at the Maules Creek Avoca East Gauge since March 2018 and the groundwater observation bore levels near Elfin Crossing for 2019 have been the lowest on record.

These low groundwater levels have impacted the ability to access groundwater for stock, domestic and basic landholder rights.

A series of pools adjacent to Elfin Crossing that support local habitat and maintain the natural ecosystem are also being impacted. The continued depletion of these pools has also led to a deterioration of water quality in Maules Creek, which is currently not fit for human consumption.

This temporary restriction will help to maintain the perennial pool levels in Maules Creek and the groundwater levels in the Maules Creek Groundwater Water Source upstream of Elfin Crossing.

For more information on the temporary restriction visit the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment announcement.

Media Contact – Tony Webber 0428 613 478.

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