About the Healthy Floodplains Project

Due to the disallowance of the amendments to the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 that relate to floodplain harvesting, implementation dates for the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy are uncertain. The dates specified in our reports and guidelines may therefore be superseded.

The Healthy Floodplains Project is reforming the management of flood water in the NSW northern Murray-Darling Basin (northern Basin).

In the northern Basin valleys of the Barwon-Darling, Border Rivers, Gwydir, Macquarie and Namoi, modelling shows that floodplain harvesting has grown above the legal limits described in NSW water sharing plans and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Management of flood water reform will take place through development of floodplain management plans and implementing the floodplain harvesting program.

The purpose of the project is to establish a regulatory framework for flood water harvesting. It will licence, measure and manage floodplain extractions in the northern Basin, in line with the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy, floodplain management plans, water sharing plans and controls on water capture.

This will:

  • bring floodplain harvesting to within legal limits
  • reduce floodplain harvesting to legal limits
  • improve environment and connectivity outcomes
  • provide clarity for all water users and the regulator
  • allow for robust near real-time measurement
  • provide a foundation for adaptive management.

Water supply work approvals and floodplain harvesting licences for all five northern valleys are scheduled to be in place from July 2021. The process and timeframes are set out in the Floodplain Harvesting Action Plan.

Download Further information about the Healthy Floodplains Project PDF, 148.91 KB or Managing Floodplain Harvesting PDF, 42.81 KB can be found in these fact sheets.