Active Management

Active Management

The NSW Government amended unregulated water sharing plans from 1 July 2020 for water sources where active management of environmental water will apply.

The new amendments to conditions have been implemented to improve the management of extractions and provide for improved environmental benefits. These amendments include active management rules where WaterNSW will now announce when water in a management zone can be accessed.

Announcements will be made based on flow forecasts meeting the flow triggers outlined in the water sharing plan, which means that water users will not need to monitor river gauges. Announcements will be set for the day to minimise confusion over access arrangements.

The unregulated water management zones affected by the new rules are:

All management zones
Upper Gingham Watercourse Management Zone
Lower Gingham Watercourse Management Zone
Mallowa Creek Water Source
Lower Macquarie River Upstream Management Zone
Lower Macquarie Downstream Management Zones
Gum Cowal Management Zone
Lower Marthaguy Creek Management Zone

Monitoring announcements for Barwon-Darling

  • Since 1 July 2020, WaterNSW has issued announcements and flow advice via WaterInsights. Licence holders must pump in accordance to their licence conditions and approvals in relation to these announcements.
  • Licence holders are encouraged to subscribe here to also receive notifications directly via email and SMS.

Other 1 July 2020 changes for Barwon-Darling licence holders

  • IDECs have been established for each licence holder to limit the volume of water that can be extracted on a single day. Licence holders can check their new IDEC on the NSW Water Register.
  • Resumption of flow rules will also apply to ensure first flow after an extended low flow or dry period is protected so it remains in the system until downstream flows are adequately established.
  • Licence holders have been issued new licence conditions and will need to adhere to the new mandatory conditions from the date they were deemed as issued.
  • Some A Class access thresholds have been increased.

Monitoring announcements for Gwydir and Macquarie

  • From 1 December 2020, WaterNSW will issue access announcements and flow advice when required to do so under the Active Management Procedures Manual. Licence holders must pump in accordance to their licence conditions and approvals in relation to these announcements.
  • IDECs have not been established for affected management zones in the Gwydir and Macquarie unregulated water sources.
  • Further details on how to operate and comply with these new rules will be rolled out before active management commences in these areas.

More information

From 1 December 2020, environmental outcomes will be improved by ensuring water that has been set aside for the environment is protected and allowed to flow down the system. Environmental water will be protected from extraction to enable connectivity from the northern NSW tributary river systems and the Barwon-Darling river system. When environmental water is in the Barwon-Darling flow triggers for access will be increased to take this water into account.

Additionally, from 1 December 2020, WaterNSW will make announcements to fairly share water available for extraction in a transparent manner.  WaterNSW will be implementing the expression of interest (EOI) (PDF, 988.4 KB) process to enable customers to indicate if they wish to take water and then WaterNSW will fairly share access in accordance with the NSW Government’s rules.

There is additional information for affected licence holders via the following fact sheets:


Thursday 11 August
2,586,549 ML
2,618,706 ML
7,915 ML
1,131 ML
-7,208 ML
Thursday 11 August