Learn more about floodplain harvesting

Implementation dates for the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy have changed following disallowance of amendments to the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 in 2020, 2021 and 2022, that defined the process for issuing floodplain harvesting licences and the measurement requirements on those licences. More recently, there was a disallowance of Water Management (General) Amendment (Floodplain Harvesting Access Licences) Regulation 2022 that defined the process for issuing floodplain harvesting licences on 21 September 2022. The amendments to the regulation defining measurement requirements for licences was not part of the disallowance on 21 September 2022.

The disallowance does not alter the validity of floodplain harvesting licences already determined for eligible water users in the NSW Border Rivers and Gwydir Valleys. The licensing framework commenced in these valleys on 15 August 2022 and this latest disallowance has no effect on the requirements to measure and manage floodplain harvesting in these valley.

The department is committed to this important reform to ensure limits on take and measurement requirements, for floodplain harvesting in all Northern Basin valleys. Licensing will bring floodplain harvesting into line with other forms of take, enabling monitoring and management and providing certainty in the provision of water required for the environment and other water users.


A package of information has been developed to help explain the policy and legislative reform, legal limits, floodplain harvesting’s impact on river flows and how we are addressing community feedback.

Videos

The NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy will establish a new regulatory framework to license, measure, monitor and manage floodplain harvesting. These videos give different people’s perspectives on the environmental, economic and social and cultural impacts of implementing the policy.

Water management and floodplain harvesting in northern NSW

This video provides information about why floodplain harvesting developed in northern NSW, the journey towards regulating it and why that is important to all basin water users.

These videos give different people’s perspectives on the environmental, economic and social and cultural impacts of implementing the policy.

Balancing floodplain harvesting and the environment
Economic benefits of irrigation development and floodplain harvesting in northern NSW
Social and cultural impact of irrigation development and floodplain harvesting in northern NSW

See our online library for more videos on floodplain harvesting, account management rules and rainfall runoff.