Yanco Creek Offtake Project

Yanco Creek Offtake Project

Water Infrastructure NSW is investigating two projects within the Yanco Creek system: the Yanco Creek Modernisation Project, and the Yanco Creek Offtake Project (YCOP). The Yanco Creek Offtake Project is investigating a suite of options to improve water management to help achieve the objectives of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Yanco Creek Offtake Project rescope

The NSW Government is are aware that when the community was first consulted about the YCOP there was strong opposition and clear concerns raised.

One of the key concerns is the potential impact a project may have on the regularity of baseflows within the Yanco Creek System.

Recognising this project has unique sensitivities and cannot be delivered in its current form by 2024, it is currently being rescoped.

Project rescoping underway

Over the last few months, the NSW Government has been working with the Yanco Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to develop options to achieve the project’s objectives and are likely to be supported by the community.

The project’s objective is to keep the Yanco, Billabong, Colombo and Forest Creeks flowing by enabling water to be better managed to match environmental water requirements. This should maintain, if not improve, flows across the Yanco Creek System.

There have been a range of options identified with stakeholders that could help achieve the objectives, preserve the baseflows while also preserving or improving conditions for the critical ecological and environmental areas throughout the system.

Over the next two months, the project team will continue to carry out the investigations and technical studies necessary to rescope the project.  This will include extensive consultation with the community.

Project Benefits

Rescoping the YCOP has the potential to offer significant benefits to ecosystems, communities, landholders and water managers in the region.

A rescoped YCOP also presents an opportunity to improve water flows and fish passages in the creek system to improve the vitality and resilience of native species.

The mid-Murrumbidgee wetlands comprise flood-dependant vegetation communities that are natural habitats for significant fauna species. This includes species of waterbirds, such as egrets and kingfishers, and vegetation crucial to many species of fish. Securing the future abundance of these species is an environmental outcome the Yanco Creek offtake can help deliver by implementing targeted water flow control measures.