About the Healthy Floodplains Project

The Healthy Floodplains Project is reforming the management of water on floodplains through development and implementation of the floodplain management program and floodplain harvesting program.

This project is being implemented over a six-year period across the five northern valleys in NSW's Murray–Darling Basin: the Barwon–Darling, Border Rivers, Gwydir, Macquarie and Namoi valleys. Up to $50 million has been allocated for this project.

Further information about the Healthy Floodplains project can be found in the Healthy Floodplains project fact sheet.

Floodplain management plan program

Floodplain management plans provide the framework for coordinating flood work development to minimise future changes to flooding behaviour; improving the environmental health of floodplains, and increasing awareness of risk to life and property from the effects of flooding.

Floodplain management planning has been staggered across the five northern valleys in NSW. Floodplain management plans for the Gwydir, Barwon–Darling and Upper Namoi have begun, while draft floodplain management plans for the Lower Namoi, Border Rivers and Macquarie have undergone public exhibition. Floodplain management plans that cover all five valleys are scheduled to be in place by December 2019.

Floodplain harvesting program

The floodplain harvesting program project involves the implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy to license floodplain harvesting water extractions and make them subject to volumetric limits.

In accordance with the Policy, NSW will ensure that floodplain harvesting fits within the sustainable diversion limits set by the Basin Plan by establishing new floodplain harvesting entitlements and account management rules that are specifically designed to control any growth in use.

An independent peer review of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy implementation is currently underway. Amongst other things, the peer review scope will examine the efficacy of different entitlement and account management rule combinations in achieving the Policy objectives. The results of this review will be made available in April 2019.

Floodplain harvesting licences and water supply work approvals for all five Northern valleys are scheduled to be in place by December 2019.

Further information about managing floodplain harvesting can be found in the Managing floodplain harvesting fact sheet.