Buccaneit and Cunninyeuk creeks (Murray below Mulwala Water Source)
|Temporary restriction notice||Temporary Water Restriction (Buccaneit and Cunninyeuk Creeks) Order 2020|
|Licences affected||Unregulated river access licences|
|Date repeal started||23 April 2020|
|Status||Expired 30 June 2020|
Reason for Decision
In April 2020, EES is planning on delivering held (licensed) environmental water from its NSW Murray entitlement to Buccaneit and Cunninyeuk creeks. These unregulated watercourses are located in the Murray below Mulwala Water Source, as described in the Water Sharing Plan for the Murray Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources 2011.
The entitlement is a regulated river (conveyance) access licence and is held by the Minister for the Environment. The Minister for the Environment holds 30,000 shares with this licence and was allocated 50% of this entitlement, some 15,000 megalitres (ML), for the 2019/20 water year.
Buccaneit and Cunninyeuk creeks are currently dry and the fringing redgum trees are extremely drought stressed. DPIE EES plan to deliver a small flow into the creek system at 40ML/day over a 30 day period via the Murray irrigation channel system. The total volume of water ordered for this event from the 2019/20 allocation of DPIE EES’s regulated river (conveyance) licence is 1,200ML.
The objectives of the environmental flow event are to maintain the extent and condition of river red gums and increase the distribution & abundance of native fish species.
A temporary water restriction has been made to ensure environmental water delivered in these unregulated creeks is not extracted by licence holders. As such, this Order is in the public interest as it will manage water for environmental purposes.
Reasons for decisions
Temporary water restriction – section 324
Section 324 of the Water Management Act 2000 (the Act) allows the Minister or delegate to order that temporary water restrictions within a water source(s) are to have effect for a specified period, if these restrictions are determined to be in the public interest.
Examples of the public interest referred to in section 324(1) include “to cope with a water shortage, threat to public health or safety or to manage water for environmental purposes”.
Based on the information outlined in the Background section, there is a public interest in making an order to restrict take in parts of the Buccaneit and Cunninyeuk creeks within the Murray below Mulwala Water Source as follows:
- “to manage water for environmental purposes” – these creek systems are currently dry and the fringing redgum trees are extremely drought stressed. Delivery and protection of this held (licenced) environmental water will help to maintain the extent and condition of river red gums and increase the distribution and abundance of native fish species. In the absence of this environmental release, the natural river flows would be insufficient to trigger lawful access by unregulated river access licence holders.
Accordingly, the section 324 order is being made to protect the delivery of NSW Murray Conveyance Water as held environmental water in parts of the Buccaneit and Cunninyeuk creeks.
Executive Director - Policy, Planning and Sciences
23 April 2020