Extreme events policy

NSW is currently experiencing one of its driest periods on record. Winter was much drier than expected, resulting in failing crops and water shortages.

Some areas of the state did receive some welcome rainfall at the end of August and October which provided a little relief for stock and domestic water; unfortunately it will not come close to the recovery needed heading into the hotter months.

The Department of Industry – Water is implementing drought contingency measures in the Lower Darling and Barwon-Darling river systems and the Namoi, Gwydir and Macquarie river systems in northern inland NSW following extended dry conditions.

Managing through drought and water quality events, such as algal blooms, are an inevitable part of water management in Australia. These types of extreme events have and will continue to occur periodically.

This policy sets up a framework to manage extreme events in a structured and proactive way. It provides a clear and transparent framework for making decisions during extreme events – including what those decisions are, when they are made and who makes them. This information allows water users to make plans during extreme events with more confidence and provides more certainty for the water market.