Amendment to temporary pump restriction on floodplain harvesting

Amendment to temporary pump restriction on floodplain harvesting

12 February 2020

WaterNSW is announcing the NSW Government’s temporary restriction on floodplain harvesting across the northern basin to preserve any flows in the northern river system for towns, stock and domestic supply and the environment has been amended.

The new amendment includes to two additional floodplains - Lower Macintyre River - Whalan Creek and Boomi River Floodplain (from Yelarbon Crossing to Barwon-Boom Rivers confluence) and the Lower Macquarie Valley Floodplain.

The amended restriction order applies from today (12 February) and relates to the take of water for the purpose of floodplain harvesting, except in the case where the take of water is rainfall runoff from irrigated areas with tailwater return drains.

Rainfall runoff from irrigation fields is exempted as it is likely to be contaminated and irrigation properties are designed to retain this form of runoff.

The initial temporary water restriction for floodplain catchment issued on Friday 7 February still applies. The complete list of floodplain catchments covered by the temporary restrictions include:

  • Barwon-Darling Valley Floodplain
  • Gwydir Valley Floodplain
  • Lower Namoi Valley Floodplain (as designated and amended under the Water Act 1912, Gazettal Notice No. 164 of 23 December 2005 and Gazettal Notice No. 139 of 28 September 1984)
  • Narrabri – Wee Waa Floodplain (as designated under the Water Act 1912, Gazettal Notice No. 164 of 23 December 2005)
  • Narromine to Oxley Station Floodplain (as designated under the Water Act 1912, Gazettal Notice No. 155 of 5 December 2008 and sometimes referred to as the Macquarie Valley Floodplain)
  • Upper Namoi Valley Floodplain
  • Lower Macintyre River - Whalan Creek & Boomi River Floodplain (from Yelarbon Crossing to Barwon-Boom Rivers confluence)
  • Lower Macquarie Valley Floodplain

This temporary restriction applies up to and including 28 February 2020. Rainfall and inflows will continue to be closely monitored during this period to determine if a repeal, amendment or advice to customers allowing access is needed.

This order does not apply to the take of water for basic landholder rights (including harvestable rights) and passive take by a water management work.

As this is the first time a temporary water restriction has been placed on floodplain harvesting, WaterNSW encourages water users to ensure that they can account for any changes to the volume of water in on-farm storages during this period of restriction.

Overland flow that is either taken passively (cannot be restricted by a pump, pipe or regulator) or through irrigation tailwater return drains is not restricted by this order.

Further information regarding the temporary water restrictions can be found on the department’s website - www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/allocations-availability/temporary-water-restrictions

For WaterNSW drought management information visit: www.waternsw.com.au/supply/drought-information

For information on water licences and trading, contact the WaterNSW helpdesk on 1300 662 077

Media Contact – Tony Webber 0428 613 478.

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