News & Events

News |

DPE have made an allocation announcement for supplementary entitlements of 0.79 megalitres per unit share brining supplementary entitlements to 100% availability, this has come in response to the issuing of replacement floodplain harvesting licences in the regulated and unregulated water sources with water availability of 1 megalitre per unit shares.  These licences are now fully enabled.

This for the first time brings all licences into the water management framework and with 100% availability for all forms of take with general security accounts at their maximum of 150%.

I'll note Copeton Dam remains on spill operations to maintain capacity to 100%.

News |

In a milestone for water management in the region, the NSW Water and Environment Minister’s jointly amended the Gwydir’s water sharing plans to include floodplain harvesting, the take of water during floods.

This is the final form of water in the region to be licensed and has taken 20 years of delays and deliberations with licences to begin by 1 September 2022.

Zara Lowien, the Executive Officer of the Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association whose members will be the first in NSW to be licenced for this form of take said this is not a win for northern irrigators, as it's often portrayed.

"On average water users in the Gwydir are losing 30% of their long-term access to flood water which will have more than a $90 million impact to our economy through less production" she said.

"Make no mistake, this is an environmental reform like no other.”

News |

The Water Sharing Plan for the Gwydir Regulated River Water Source and the Gwydir Unregulated Water Sources were amended and made available on Friday, 29 July 2022.

The updates include the floodplain as a source of water and the new account management, access and dealing rules for replacement floodplain harvesting licences which are due to commence no later than 1 September 2022. This is a major milestone for the near completion of the Healthy Floodplains Program in our region.

Update were also made to make these plans consistent with rules for the Basin Plan. 

The regulated plan can be accessed via sl-2022-429 (

The unregulated plan can be accessed via sl-2022-430 (

News |

The Mehi River has been flowing quickly through Moree as Copeton Dam spilled to make room for recent inflows.  These flows were largely shared between the Carole Ck and the Mehi River.  The releases were then used to fulfil orders for water users who are planning to irrigate wheat and ensure on farm supplies are ready for the upcoming cotton season.  

Releases from Copeton peaked at 7,000 ML per day and have reduced to 1,600 ML per day.  Currently, there is just under 3,000ML/day visible under the bridge through town as per the picture. 

WaterNSW are actively managing Copeton Dam to 99% capacity unless water orders reduce this volume.

For more information visit WaterInsights - WaterNSW

News |

The NSW Government has released a draft Groundwater Strategy which is currently open for consultation. The Strategy is available here for review.

Public webinars are available on 25th and 28th of July to hear about the strategy and its objective and priorities. 

The Gwydir region relies on a number of groundwater sources to maintain production during droughts as well as stock and domestic use around the catchment.  Groundwater also supplies many of our towns and commercial businesses.  

The GVIA will be participating in the public and targeted information sessions prior to preparing a submission. Please click the link for more information or to register for one of the public information webinars. 

Events |

Carbon is one of the topics getting attention at present. It is important for our members to understand what it means for them. To  help we are hosting the Gwydir Regional Carbon Forum in partnership with UNE, NSW DPI and the CRDC. We are looking to provide information on Sustainable Soil Management and how this links with a productive cropping system and Carbon. 

  • What is soil Carbon: Understanding, monitoring and measuring soil carbon. What levels could be expected as a baseline? What do producers need to know before they make any changes? How can they use existing/historic soil tests?
  • Understanding and measuring emissions: What is involved in making this assessment and how should producers go about collecting the information.
  • Data management: What data do producers need, where can it be stored, how can this be easily managed over time.
  • Tools that can assist producers and agronomist easily manage the Carbon space.
When: 3rd August 2022
Where: Town and Country Club, 5 Frome St, Moree
Start: 2:00pm


News |

The NSW Government as enabled the establishment of replacement floodplain harvesting licences and mandatory metering conditions in regulation on 1 July 2022.

These regulations provide the framework to determine, issue and implement floodplain harvesting licencing in NSW.

The regulations provide for a temporary exemption to take rainfall run off collected in irrigation tailwater drains when no other overland flow is being intercepted - i.e. outside of floods.  This enables a consistent approach around NSW to ensuring irrigators can adopt best management practices and implement required environmental safeguards.

There were minor amendments to these regulations which can be summarised here.  

Local valley based water sharing plans must be amended to reflect the local implementation of these replacement licences. 

News |

Copeton Dam is at 99% capacity with approximately 35,000 ML of surplus water available for allocation to accounts with airspace.  Currently all accounts are at their maximum and do not have airspace.

Copeton Dam is being carefully managed to a safe capacity. This means releases will beginning to occur to make airspace for upstream inflows.

Spill releases trigger unregulated flow rules below Copeton Dam and can be accessed as supplementary or higher priority licences such as general security of high security. Currently, WaterNSW have an expression of interest open for supplementary access.  Supplementary allocations are currently reduced to 21%.

News |

Department of Planning and Environment have made their starting allocation announcements for Regulated Water Sources 2022-23.

Local water utilities and High Security Licences received 1 ML per unit share or 100% allocation.  These licences are secured with reserves for 2-years. 

General Security Licences are at their full account of 150% and therefore, no allocations were made as users carried over that water.  Copeton Dam remains at 99% meaning there is surplus water available for allocation for accounts that have airspace.  The next allocation is due before 7 July 2022.  

Supplementary Licences received only 0.21 unit share of 21% allocation.  This reduction is a direct response to the failure to issue floodplain harvesting licences and update the Water Sharing Plan for the Gwydir Regulated Water Source.  

News |

The Department of Planning and Environment have made their starting allocation announcements for Unregulated Water Sources for 2022-23.

The announcement has provided a 1 ML per unit share or 100% allocation for all unregulated licence holders. 

Unregulated floodplain harvesting licences have not been enacted and therefore, there was no allocation announcement made for these licences. 

News |

Department of Planning and Environment have announced the starting allocation for the NSW Groundwater Sources for 2022-23.

1ML unit share announcement was made for aquifer licences with 100% allocation to local utilities. 

This announcement includes the Lower Gwydir Groundwater  water source, the Great Artesian Basin water sources and Fractured Rock water sources across the Valley. 

News |

The next draft of the Gwydir Regional Water Strategy is open for consultation this month with submissions due by 29 June 2022.  The strategy aims to provide a forward plan for priorities and actions for the region to work towards building resilience within our communities and industries through variable conditions. 

The GVIA attended the public sessions in Inverell and Moree this week where concerns regarding the lack of infrastructure options, the need for a forward thinking and equitable policy framework and the challenges with water delivery for all water users in extended dry periods was discussed.   

A webinar will be hosted on 20 June 2022 for more information visit the Department website. 

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.