Public consultations being held to help communities conserve their water supplies

Given the drought is intensifying across the state, the NSW Government continues to implement drought management measures in consultation with communities.

The Department of Industry-Water and WaterNSW are holding public forums in drought impacted regions. At these sessions we will provide an update on surface and groundwater water availability and proposed management measures if the dry conditions persist.

The NSW Government has made the following drought stage changes, indicating a growing shortfall in water supplies and the need for temporary drought measures:

  • Macquarie – Stage 4 (critical)
  • Border Rivers, Gwydir, Peel, and Belubula – Stage 3 (severe)
  • Murray, Murrumbidgee and Lachlan– Stage 2 (emerging)

The Lower Darling, Lower Namoi and Barwon-Darling continue on the highest level – Stage 4 (critical).

Michael Wrathall, Drought Coordinator, Department of Industry-Water, said we are now in unprecedented territory.

“NSW water storages continue to fall with close to 100 per cent of the state now affected by drought. We need to protect the remaining water in our river systems as there is no significant rain or inflows predicted.

“Water availability across the Murray-Darling Basin remains low, particularly in the northern-inland and far west regions. A number of valleys have seen inflows below previous record lows. Our priority is to ensure that sufficient water is available for critical water needs,” he said.

Stage 4 drought status means that we need to consider significant restrictions and other measures consistent with the NSW Extreme Events Policy.

“Landholders and communities need information about water availability so they can plan ahead, and that’s what these consultations are all about,” Mr Wrathall said.

Water NSW will also be meeting with members of the River Operations Stakeholder Consultative Committee (ROSCCo) immediately before or after the public information sessions, Executive Manager System Operations, Adrian Langdon confirmed.

“Given the urgency of the drought situation in these valleys, WaterNSW has timed its stakeholder updates alongside the community meetings to minimise the amount of travel faced by attendees of both sessions.

“The feedback we receive is that water authorities must consider the amount of travel involved in attending meetings, especially on topics as critical as drought, and coordinate our sessions more effectively,” Mr Langdon said.

PUBLIC DROUGHT CONSULTATION SESSIONS

Date & Time Location River system Venue

Wednesday 22 May

12-2 pm

Tamworth

Peel

West Diggers Club

4 Kable Ave, Tamworth

Thursday 23 May

12-2 pm

Goondiwindi

Border Rivers

The Jolly Swagman Motor Inn

2-4 Anderson St, Goondiwindi, Qld

Friday 24 May

12-2 pm

Moree

Gwydir

The Max Centre

Lvl 1, 30 Heber St, Moree

Monday 27 May

2-4 pm

Wentworth/

Dareton

Murray

Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club

1150 Silver City Hwy, Dareton

Tuesday 28 May

10-12 pm

Pooncarie

Lower Darling

Pooncarie Town Hall

Tarcoola St, Pooncarie

Wednesday 29 May

2-4 pm

Bourke

Barwon/Darling

Diggers on the Darling

23-25 Sturt St, Bourke

Thursday 30 May

12-2 pm

Warren

Macquarie

Warren Services Club

87A Dubbo St, Warren

Friday 31 May

12-2 pm

Forbes

Lachlan

Forbes Golf Club

17 Parks Rd, Forbes

Monday 3 June

2-4pm

Finley

Murray

Finley Football Club, Finley Reserve,

Tocumwal St, Finley

Tuesday 4 June

10-12pm

Deniliquin

Murrumbidgee

Deniliquin Golf Club

1 Golf Club Rd, Deniliquin

Tuesday 4 June

2.30-4.30pm

Hay

Murrumbidgee

Hay Services Club

371 Murray St, Hay

Wednesday 5 June

9.30-11.30am

Coleambally

Murrumbidgee

TBC

Wednesday 5 June

1.30-3.30pm

Griffith

Murrumbidgee

TBC

Thursday 6 June

1-3pm

Gunnedah

Namoi

TBC

Friday 7 June

10-12pm

Walgett

Barwon/Darling

TBC

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