Lachlan Regulated River Water Source Repeal
|Temporary restriction notice||Temporary Water Restriction (Lachlan Regulated River Water Source) Repeal Order 2020|
|Licences affected||General security water access licence holders|
|Status||Repealed – 10 August 2020|
Reason for Decision
Under the Temporary Water Restriction (Lachlan Regulated River Water Source) Order 2019 as amended by the Temporary Water Restriction (Lachlan Regulated River Water Source) Amendment Order 2019, licence holders within the Lachlan Regulated River Water Source were prohibited from taking restricted water if assigned to their licences from regulated river (general) security licence holders.
On 26 June 2020, to cope with the continued water shortage and to protect public health and safety, the Temporary Water Restriction (Lachlan Regulated River Water Source) Order 2019 was amended to:
- continue to prohibit general security access licence holders in the Lachlan from taking more than 57% of the volume of water held in the water allocation accounts (43% frozen in accounts)
- restrict any of the remaining 57% volume held in water allocation accounts as at 1 July 2020 by 50%
- be extended until 30 June 2021
The public interest in making the amendment order to restrict take in the Lachlan Regulated River Water Source was as follows:
- “to cope with a water shortage” –Due to ongoing drought, very low inflows and high delivery loss, there was insufficient resource to supply the full complement of general security water carryover and meet higher priority requirements.
- “threat to public health and safety” – supplies to critical human needs and high priority needs would continue to be under threat without an extension to the temporary water restriction.
The expiry date of the restriction was extended because Wyangala Dam was yet to receive usual high winter inflow. Wyangala Dam was holding 198 GL and Lake Brewster 28 GL of water. The department undertook to make decisions regarding access based on further inflows. It stated that flows and conditions would be monitored.
Reasons for decisions
Repeal of temporary water restriction – section 324
Wyangala Dam and the lakes have increased by 115 GL in July and are still rising. Downstream tributaries, including the Belubula River, have also responded well. Lake Brewster is forecasted to gain another 30 GL by the end of August. There is now enough water to meet critical human and high priority needs. Assuming minimum inflows, there is enough water to meet critical needs for two years.
In these circumstances, water security has been restored, meaning the temporary water restriction, applied in the public interest, is no longer required. It is therefore now in the public interest to repeal the temporary water restriction order.
Executive Director - Policy, Planning and Sciences
6 August 2020