Temporary restrictions to flows in the Barwon-Darling River extended

Media release | 29 March 2018

The NSW Department of Industry—Lands and Water today announced the extension of temporary restrictions on A, B and C class water access licences in the Barwon-Darling Unregulated River to continue to protect valuable low flows entering and travelling along the river.

The introduction of temporary water restrictions along the Barwon-Darling earlier this month has improved river connectivity, with flows filling the weir pool at Bourke and beginning to spill downstream on Sunday 25 March.

Additional rainfall across south-east Queensland in recent weeks has produced useful flows in the NSW Culgoa River, with some flow also observed in the Warrego River.

The extension of temporary water restrictions is now expected to ensure flow connectivity to Wilcannia, including likely filling of the town weir pool, based on the increased flows from Queensland through the Culgoa River. The restrictions will remain in place while dry conditions continue, and will be monitored through April.

The restriction applies to the taking of flows for A, B and C class water licences in the Barwon-Darling system to provide protection of the small within-channel flows down to Wilcannia, for use by towns, communities and individual land holders for basic needs.

Some exemptions will ensure access to water for towns, domestic and stock uses, and for permanent plantings like vines and orchards, will remain available.

The extension of temporary water restrictions is in the public interest – particularly while town weir pools wait to be replenished in the Darling and river connectivity is re-established.

WaterNSW will continue to closely monitor the situation so that these restrictions can be amended or removed once appropriate to do so.