Managing decline in groundwater levels

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment recently published reports on how groundwater levels have been changing since monitoring began in the 1970s-80s across 29 inland alluvial groundwater systems. Department hydrogeologists reviewed and analysed data from 1,300 groundwater monitoring sites.

They looked at how deep the groundwater levels fall during the summer irrigation season and the level to which they recover when the bore pumps are turned off during winter.

Groundwater levels have generally fluctuated within acceptable levels of decline and recovery. However in some localities, with concentrated areas of pumping, groundwater levels are not able to fully recover before the following irrigation season starts.

short report (PDF, 483.31 KB) summarises the number of monitoring bores that  groundwater levels fall below acceptable levels during the pumping season  for all 29 groundwater sources reviewed. It also reports the number of monitoring bores in which water levels do not recovery sufficiently before the start of the next irrigation season.

There are also three detailed reports that focus on groundwater systems that have areas where groundwater levels are showing a long-term decline. These are for the Upper and Lower Namoi, the Lower Gwydir and the Upper Lachlan.

The reports provide background information for meetings with community and groundwater licence holders in these areas

Public Information sessions

We held information sessions on:

  • monitoring bore data and maps on groundwater levels
  • and groundwater management options to address trends

Information sessions



Date and Times


Lower Gwydir

Report (PDF, 2904.13 KB)

Presentation (PDF, 9106.76 KB)

Tuesday 15 March 2022, 9.30 am to 11.30 am

Moree Services Club, 3 Albert Street, Moree, NSW 2400

Lower Namoi

Report (PDF, 3557.11 KB)

Presentation (PDF, 5750.3 KB)

Wednesday 16 March 2022
9.30 am to 11.30 am

Wee Waa Bowling Club, 69 Alma Street, Wee Waa New South Wales 2388

Upper Namoi Zone 12, Kelvin Valley

Report (PDF, 3557.11 KB)

Presentation (PDF, 4255.16 KB)

Thursday 17 March 2022, 9.30 am to 11.30 am

Gunnedah Services and Bowls Club, 313 Conadilly Street, Gunnedah New South Wales 2380

Upper Namoi Zone 8, Mooki Valley (Quirindi - Pine Ridge Road to Breeza)

Report (PDF, 3557.11 KB)

Presentation (PDF, 5082.98 KB)

Thursday 17 March 2022, 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm

Quirindi Library

193 George Street, Quirindi 2343

Upper Lachlan Alluvial Groundwater Source, Management Zone 2.

Report (PDF, 3056.61 KB)

Presentation (PDF, 7802.9 KB)

Thursday 17 March 2022, 11.00 am to 1.00 pm

Gooloogong Log Cabin Hall, Lachlan Valley Way, Gooloogong New South Wales 2805

We invited stakeholders to provide feedback following the information sessions via email until 8th April 2022.

We plan to hold follow up sessions in areas in response to the feedback and continue to discuss options to manage groundwater in these areas.