Have your say on the future of water in Western NSW

Media release | 1 June 2022

The Department of Planning and Environment today released the draft NSW Western Regional Water Strategy and is calling on the community to have its say.

Executive Director of Policy and Strategy, Kaia Hodge said the community understands the region’s water challenges and issues better than anyone else and is urging locals to share their feedback to help shape the future of water in Western NSW.

“The draft Western Regional Water Strategy captures all water resources, including the Barwon-Darling River that links the northern and southern Murray-Darling Basin and the Menindee Lakes which support native fish populations,” Ms Hodge said.

“This strategy will help optimise water management across the region and is designed to deliver a safer, more secure and resilient supply for decades to come.

“It has a strong focus on connectivity across the Northern Basin, which will have important flow on effects for communities and the environment.”

The community can also now share their views on proposed amendments to the Barwon-Darling water sharing plan, including proposed rules for Floodplain Harvesting. The proposed rules for Floodplain Harvesting represent a significant step forward for water management in the Barwon Darling.

Ms Hodge says stakeholders and the wider community should not miss out on the opportunity to share their thoughts.

“We know that every region faces unique water challenges which is why we need to hear directly from residents and stakeholders on the ground to enable us to build the best possible water future for Western NSW.”

“Water is crucial for day-to-day life so it’s important everyone has an opportunity to weigh in on the strategy, and proposed amendments to the water sharing plan including rules for floodplain harvesting access licences, to ensure we get it right.”

The consultation period for the water sharing plan and future rules for floodplain harvesting access license will end on 30 June.

Stakeholders will have until 13 July to comment on the draft Western Regional Water Strategy.

The draft strategy is one of 12 regional and two metropolitan water strategies across the state that have been developed using the best and latest scientific evidence to help us understand and mitigate the region’s risks, even in the most extreme climate circumstances.

It puts forward a range of options to address the region’s water-related challenges and needs, and supports environmental, social and economic outcomes.

As part of consultation, we will be hosting a webinar on 7 June to provide the community with information on the draft regional water strategy, amendments to the Barwon-Darling water sharing plan and the proposed rules for floodplain harvesting access licences.

This session will provide detailed information and will give residents and stakeholders an opportunity to ask questions.

Face-to-face information sessions and Aboriginal engagement will take place in various locations across the Western region in June.

You can register for the webinar at dpie.nsw.gov.au/water-management-in-far-west-nsw

To view the documents on public exhibition go to dpie.nsw.gov.au/western-regional-water-strategy

Barwon River near Brewarrina, NSW.Have your say on the Draft Western Regional Water Strategy.