Floodplain harvesting program

Floodplain harvesting is the capture and use of water flowing across a floodplain. This is an important source of water for industry, particularly in the northern Murray–Darling Basin areas of NSW.

Floodplain harvesting is the last large capture of water to be licensed in the Basin. Licensing floodplain harvesting will improve water use accounting and compliance in NSW.

Building public confidence and trust

Watch the video on building public confidence.

Probity review into floodplain harvesting licensing

Stakeholder confidence in the process used to establish floodplain harvesting entitlements is very important. We commissioned legal firm, Maddocks, to complete a probity review of the floodplain harvesting works approvals process. The review found the licensing processes were lawful and well-documented and the eligibility criteria were consistently applied.

Independent peer review into floodplain harvesting

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment together with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) commissioned an independent peer review (PDF 1.4 MB) of implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy in northern NSW. The key aim of the review is to provide transparency and give confidence to stakeholders that the technical information and processes used are suitable to support policy implementation.

There are many complexities and uncertainties associated with modelling on-farm floodplain harvesting. Over the past six years the department has made significant investments in technology to build accuracy and confidence in floodplain harvesting volumetric entitlement estimates. This includes technologies such as remote sensing, computer modelling and other data.

The independent review report confirms that NSW is on the right track towards implementing the policy but makes some key recommendations for improvement. The department has accepted these recommendations in full and has responded to them in the Floodplain Harvesting Action Plan (PDF 421.7 KB).

Questions/feedback

General questions

General questions relating to Floodplain Harvesting can be sent at any time to floodplain.harvesting@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Water sharing rules – floodplain harvesting

Submissions relating to water sharing rules for floodplain harvesting should be made through the water resource planning process.

Floodplain harvesting draft entitlements

Following the release of draft floodplain harvesting entitlements, a submission process for comments will be provided. Submissions should be made if individual floodplain harvesting modelling (to be provided at the same time as draft floodplain harvesting entitlements) does not accurately reflect the variability in diversions from eligible floodplain harvesting works. Submissions should include verifiable evidence to support any claims made. All submissions will be referred to the Healthy Floodplains Review Committee for advice before a final decision is made by the NSW Department of Industry.