Macquarie Regulated River Water Source Repeal

Temporary restriction notice Temporary Water Restriction (Macquarie Regulated River) Repeal Order 2020
Licences affected General security water access licence holders
Status Repealed – 14 August 2020

Reasons for decision

Temporary Water Restriction (Macquarie Regulated River) Repeal Order 2020


Under the Temporary Water Restriction (Macquarie Regulated River) Order 2019,as amended, licence holders within the Macquarie and Cudgegong Regulated Rivers Water Source were prohibited from taking restricted water if assigned to their Macquarie Regulated River (general security) access licence.

On 26 June 2020, to cope with the continued water shortage and to protect public health and safety, the Temporary Water Restriction (Macquarie Regulated River) Order 2019 was amended to:

  1. commencing on 1 July 2020, ease the 100% GS access restriction to 60% (40% allowed) that had been issued on 30 October 2019,
  2. allow the trade of water but prohibit the take of water from any allocations traded under a restricted licence, and
  3. extend the restriction to 30 September 2020.

The public interest in making an amendment order to ease the restriction in the Macquarie Regulated River Water Source was as follows:

  • “to cope with a water shortage” – the valley was in Drought Stage 3 and so there was still insufficient resource to supply full general security carryover water and meet higher priority requirements, but there was sufficient recovery to lower the restriction.
  • “threat to public health and safety” – town water supply and domestic supplies were crucial for public health and safety and were under threat without intervention to limit carryover access.

The restriction was not eased fully because Burrendong Dam was yet to receive the usual high winter inflow. Burrendong Dam was holding 264 GL. The department undertook to make further assessment (aiming to relax further if possible) by the end of September and make further decisions regarding access based on further inflows. It stated that flows and conditions would be monitored.

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.

Section 43 (2) of the Interpretation Act 1987 provides that the power to make an order under an Act includes the power to repeal the order.

Burrendong Dam is now at 406 GL and rising. Storages have received 82 GL of inflow in July alone. More rain and inflow are predicted in coming weeks. There is now enough water to meet critical human and high priority needs into the foreseeable future.

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.

Accordingly, the section 324 order on access in the Macquarie and Cudgegong Regulated Rivers Water Source is being repealed.

Emma Solomon

Executive Director–Water Policy, Planning and Sciences

13 August 2020

Macquarie Regulated River Water Source Amendment