Public consultations being held to help communities conserve their water supplies
Media release | 21 May 2019
Given the drought is intensifying across the state, the NSW Government continues to implement drought management measures in consultation with communities.
The Department of Industry-Water and WaterNSW are holding public forums in drought impacted regions. At these sessions we will provide an update on surface and groundwater water availability and proposed management measures if the dry conditions persist.
The NSW Government has made the following drought stage changes, indicating a growing shortfall in water supplies and the need for temporary drought measures:
- Macquarie – Stage 4 (critical)
- Border Rivers, Gwydir, Peel, and Belubula – Stage 3 (severe)
- Murray, Murrumbidgee and Lachlan– Stage 2 (emerging)
The Lower Darling, Lower Namoi and Barwon-Darling continue on the highest level – Stage 4 (critical).
Michael Wrathall, Drought Coordinator, Department of Industry-Water, said we are now in unprecedented territory.
“NSW water storages continue to fall with close to 100 per cent of the state now affected by drought. We need to protect the remaining water in our river systems as there is no significant rain or inflows predicted.
“Water availability across the Murray-Darling Basin remains low, particularly in the northern-inland and far west regions. A number of valleys have seen inflows below previous record lows. Our priority is to ensure that sufficient water is available for critical water needs,” he said.
Stage 4 drought status means that we need to consider significant restrictions and other measures consistent with the NSW Extreme Events Policy.
“Landholders and communities need information about water availability so they can plan ahead, and that’s what these consultations are all about,” Mr Wrathall said.
Water NSW will also be meeting with members of the River Operations Stakeholder Consultative Committee (ROSCCo) immediately before or after the public information sessions, Executive Manager System Operations, Adrian Langdon confirmed.
“Given the urgency of the drought situation in these valleys, WaterNSW has timed its stakeholder updates alongside the community meetings to minimise the amount of travel faced by attendees of both sessions.
“The feedback we receive is that water authorities must consider the amount of travel involved in attending meetings, especially on topics as critical as drought, and coordinate our sessions more effectively,” Mr Langdon said.
PUBLIC DROUGHT CONSULTATION SESSIONS
|Date & Time||Location||River system||Venue|
Wednesday 22 May
West Diggers Club
4 Kable Ave, Tamworth
Thursday 23 May
The Jolly Swagman Motor Inn
2-4 Anderson St, Goondiwindi, Qld
Friday 24 May
The Max Centre
Lvl 1, 30 Heber St, Moree
Monday 27 May
Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club
1150 Silver City Hwy, Dareton
Tuesday 28 May
Pooncarie Town Hall
Tarcoola St, Pooncarie
Wednesday 29 May
Diggers on the Darling
23-25 Sturt St, Bourke
Thursday 30 May
Warren Services Club
87A Dubbo St, Warren
Friday 31 May
Forbes Golf Club
17 Parks Rd, Forbes
Monday 3 June
Finley Football Club, Finley Reserve,
Tocumwal St, Finley
Tuesday 4 June
Deniliquin Golf Club
1 Golf Club Rd, Deniliquin
Tuesday 4 June
Hay Services Club
371 Murray St, Hay
Wednesday 5 June
The Coly Club
3 Falcon Rd, Coleambally
Wednesday 5 June
Griffith Ex-Servicemen’s Club
6/12 Jondaryan Ave, Griffith
Thursday 6 June
The Civic Centre, Smithurst Theatre
83 Chandos St, Gunnedah
Friday 7 June
Walgett RSL Club
71 Fox St, Walgett
For more information the public consultation sessions please visit: www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/allocations-availability/droughts-floods/update/information-sessions
Visit our Drought Update on the NSW Department of Industry’s webpage to learn more about drought relief, water allocations and our extreme events policy that explains the different stages of drought.