Water regulator maintains vigilance over holiday period

Media release | 20 December 2018

The Natural Resources Access Regulator assures water users it will be on the job protecting our water over Christmas and the New Year, maintaining its active hotline, backed up by investigators on the ground to look into tip-offs.

“While many of us take time off at Christmas, NRAR will be on the job protecting the state’s precious water assets as the weather heats up,” Chief Regulatory Officer Grant Barnes said.

“Our tip-off line will be answered throughout the holiday season, so we’re urging water users and landholders to make sure they stay off the naughty list this Christmas.”

This month the NRAR continued the task of ensuring water compliance for regional communities.

The NRAR commenced prosecution of a landholder at Euston in the state’s far south west who is alleged to have taken water unlawfully on seven occasions between April 2016 and May 2018. The landowner will face the Land and Environment Court in Sydney on 8 February, 2019.

The NRAR also directed a landowner to remove a significant bywash dam on a seasonal tributary of the Bogan River at Bourke. Investigators verified that the structure was impeding water flow on the Dry Bogan River (also known as Little Bogan). A direction to remove the dam was issued this month with a deadline of mid-April 2019.

Mr Barnes said there were significant social and environmental benefits to be gained by the removal of the bywash dam.

“Removal of the dam could potentially improve Bourke’s water supply with replenishment flows as well as reconnect the Bogan River with the Darling and re-establish fish passage from the Darling River, along the Dry Bogan and into the Bogan River,” he said.

“Native vegetation and wildlife along the Dry Bogan will also benefit from annual replenishment flow events in dry times.”

The NRAR’s investigators and compliance officers travel all over the state’s 57 water sharing plan areas, inspecting properties and assessing compliance with water users’ licences and the Water Management Act 2000.

To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, contact the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 or email nrar.enquiries@nrar.nsw.gov.au.