This statement is provided as a response to concerns raised due to misinformation regarding northern embargoes and floodplain harvesting.
Our organisation supports the need for a first flush to provide flow for critical human needs. We also are on record requesting greater
transparency around the decision to utilise, amend and remove temporary pumping restrictions in NSW. This process must be undertaken with a
clear methodology, based on fact and science and communicated communities both up and downstream.
On the back of last week’s bureaucratic bungling, Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association are warning that the lack of responsiveness by
government and transparent processes are sacrificing our farmers and wasting precious water.
Once again this week our farmers have been crucified on the back of bureaucratic bungling. On late Friday afternoon, the Department of
Planning, Industry and Environment's Water division applied an embargo for the first time on overland flow via a text message. Whilst
the sentiment of this decision to protect flows for critical human needs is supported by northern communities, it is the level of disregard
for how a natural system behaves during extreme weather events such as a flood and the lack of consultation about rule changes that has
Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association together with Namoi Water have provided the following statement regarding the current management of
river flows and localised flooding in parts of our valleys. This statement will be progressively updated as more information becomes
There is no question that we and our communities support the importance of connectivity flows in drought. We fully support flows to provide
critical human needs.
NSW DPIEW informed users via the EWN that they have lifted temporary water restrictions on unregulated water users in the Mehi subcatchment
(until 17 February 2020), this adds to the lifting of restrictions in the Millie and Thalaba sub-catchments in the south-western section of
Gwydir Valley. Restrictions to floodplain harvesting activities in the Mehi and Thalaba sub catchments have also been lifted. These
expire on 12th February 2020.
Reasons for the decision are stated as being: over the last 2 days there has been in excess of 150mm of rain in lower Gwydir. Flows in the
Mehi River are at 4000ML/day and 4,500ML/day in Moomin. Flows in the Barwon Darling are at 9000ML day at Collarenabri and 5000ML day at
Tara. Flows from the Mehi are backing up due to high flows in the Barwon Darling.
Most flow targets have been met, and is now expected that targets at Brewarrina, and possibly Bourke, will also be met.
The main intent of lifting this order to minimise flood impacts, and allow farmers to move water around their property.
Water NSW have expanded their Early Warning Network to manage notifications for temporary restrictions to pumping conditions (in addition
to dam safety and flood notifications). It is recommended all water users subscribe to this process to be sent an email and SMS on any
announcements from Water NSW regarding access arrangements.
DPIEW have lifted the restrictions to unregulated licence access in the Thalaba and Millie Creek Subcatchments as of 9:53pm tonight. This
is because of high rainfall in the lower part of the Gwydir valley has resulted in the public interest test being met for these water
sources, and unregulated take from the above water sources will not materially impact on downstream flows in the Barwon Darling.
To receive updates on temporary restrictions, you must register for the Early Warning Network here.
Contact the office for more information.
The NSW Government has enacted a temporary restriction on floodplain harvesting across the northern basin to preserve any flows in the
northern river system for towns, stock and domestic supply and the environment. This temporary restriction order will apply to the take of
water for the purpose of floodplain harvesting, except in the case where the take of water is rainfall runoff from irrigated areas with
tailwater return drains or water cannot be reasonably prevented i.e. it is passive take. You will need to refer to the exemption
details via the Department's website. We will forward any further information when it becomes available.
The Gwydir Cotton Growers Association would like to invite you to join us for the 2020 Gwydir Field Day which will be showcasing new and
innovative technologies including the CSD variety trials, XtendFlex , a machine vision app for insect management and the canopy temperature
sensor. There will be discussion on the impact of temperature and climate on cotton production as well as an update from the CSIRO breeding
RSVP to Secretary@gwydircotton.com.au or call Lou on 0427 521 498 or 02 6752 1399
Following months (and months) of requests from groups like ourselves, our local council and chamber of commerce for support for our farm
related businesses, the Australian Government through the Regional Investment Corporation has announced and opened the AgBiz Drought loans
which aims to support regional Australians to take control of their business through the drought. There are conditions and
eligibility requirements for the loan. For more information visit the RIC website. Thank you to our local members who advocated
for broadening drought support from the farm gate.
Please be aware DPIE have issues a Section 324 water restriction under the NSW Water Management Act in anticipation of potential natural
inflows into the regions water systems this is for unregulated, general security and supplementary licences. Details are to be
provided on the DPIE website. This order does not include current water orders in the system and high security deliveries. Exemptions
to test metering equipment are expected to exist and procedures must be followed as per the gazette.