Temporary water restrictions for the Namoi regulated river system

Media release | 14 November 2018

A temporary water restriction now applies to general security water users in both the Upper and Lower Namoi regulated river water source, Department of Industry – Water Executive Director, Rachel Connell announced today.

“Water flows in the Namoi region are at historic lows, with similar conditions not seen since 1940. As a result, the severe water shortage has deepened and access to river water by general security licence holders has had to be restricted.

“The Namoi Valley area in particular has experienced unprecedented low inflows to Split Rock and Keepit dams. This has necessitated temporary restrictions in water use to secure essential water needs for as long as possible.

“Split Rock and Keepit Dams have only received 31 GL of inflow since August 2017. In comparison, the lowest historical inflow is 44 GL from August 1939 to October 1940,” she said.

“Under the temporary water restrictions, Upper Namoi regulated river general security users can access 85 per cent of the volume of water held in their account as of 5 November 2018.

“Also, in broad terms, Lower Namoi regulated river general security users have access to 85 per cent of the water orders placed on or before 5 November 2018. Water cannot be taken under Lower Namoi regulated river general security licences for orders placed after that date.

“Trading restrictions throughout the Namoi regulated river system also apply while the temporary water restriction remains in force.

“This is a tough situation and the decision was not taken lightly; we are in desperate need of rain. Water users will be updated each month on the current resource availability.

“Catchment and water availability is being closely monitored and restrictions will be eased as soon as possible,” Ms Connell said.

The legal order will expire on 30 June 2019, unless it is modified or repealed as a result of changes to water availability.