News & Events

News |

NSW Government is requesting landholders impacted by recent flooding to report damages using the Natural Disaster Survey via the link below.

This information will be used to seek assistance and target the Government's response. It includes and esitimate of crop losses, infrastructure and repairs.

For isolated members needing emergency assistance for food supplies and medication contact SES 132 500.

For isolated members needing emergency assistance for animals contact LLS emergency hotline 1800 814 647 or visit Emergency Assistance For Ag & Animals - Local Land Services (

News |

The Gwydir River peaked at Gravesend at 11:45pm on Friday 21st October 2022 at a height of 16.20m. as of 10am on Saturday 22nd October 2022 the Gwydir was falling at Gravesend, steady at both Pally and Yarraman. The Mehi was rising in Moree at this time. Please visit the History of Flooding page on our website for more information.  Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association Inc - History Of Flooding (
We have also linked to the MPSC website with more information. 

News |

The Bureau of Meteorology have provided an initial minor to moderate flood warning for the parts of the Gwydir Valley via NSW warnings - 

The region is currently on a widespread flood watch for minor to major flooding due to forecasted rainfall around the region.

Use the above link to keep updated with the announcements and follow the stream height data.

For a comparison on past floods, see our webpage a History of Flooding

For updates on Copeton Dam operations, which is under airspace management and adjusting releasing according to actual and forecast inflows, you are encouraged to register for the Early Warning Network via WaterNSW the river operators. 

News |

This year Mr Bernie George was awarded the prestigious Incitec Pivot Fertilisers Service to Industry Award.  Bernie is the Water Services and Compliance Manager at Australian Food & Fibre. Bernie has been delivering excellence in service to the cotton industry through various high-profile roles for over 30 years. He has worked in the Gwydir having been instramental in the development of the Auscott Midkin aggregation, and has represented various industry organisations including as Chair of the Cotton Australia Board and as a member of the National Irrigators Council and NSW Irrigators Council. It is wonderful to see Bernie recognised for his committment to the cotton and irrigation industry. 

News |

Keytah was announced as the 2022 Cotton Grower of the Year at the Australian Cotton Conference. Nick Gillingham, Keytah General Manager along with owners David and Danielle Statham are pictured receiving the award in August. Sundown Pastoral Company have been actively involved in irrigation efficiency research since 2009, they have willingly shared their experiences and understanding to help other producers adopt new and innovative technologies. The team are also farming St Ronans in Qld and have been instrumental in the creation of the Good Earth Cotton Company and FibreTrace. This award is well deserved and highlights that the Gwydir is still at the forefront of the Australian Cotton Industry. 

News |

At last NSW DPE recently confirmed that there is a new exemption for metering conditions for  "works used solely to take water under a basic landholder right".

This means, groundwater works in particular those that have an water access licence attached to the work ("the bore")  but you do not use it to irrigate, rather you only use it for stock and domestic purposes are now exempt from metering requirements.  This exemption is welcomed considering the cost implications for individuals with little benefit to the reform outcomes, as there is no water being used for irrigation anyway. 

You may want to inform WaterNSW to tag your work as not active for irrigation, however it is not a requirement. 

The below link refers to all the current exemptions available. 

News |

NSW DPI Fisheries is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from water users who would like financial and logistic assistance to upgrade their water diversion (pump or gravity-fed channel) with a modern fish-protection screen.

Modern screens keep fish and debris where they belong – in the river and out of infrastructure. They feature a large self-cleaning surface area that maintains the volume of water extracted, while using a fine mesh that limits the extraction of fish from our rivers. 

We encourage all members with surface water offtakes to apply, regardless of whether you are located in the priority area along the Mehi River or not. 

Applications are easy - just your works details and descriptions.  Visit the website for more information EOI - Fish Screens Australia

News |

Water NSW have announced a rescheduling of the regulator works at Tarelaroi Weir until April 2023.

Works to have the regulator back fully operational will need to occur prior to the commencement of this season's delivery which will result in a 1-2 week shut down period for the Mehi/Moomin.  The gates must be properly reinstalled to allow full operations.  

News |

WaterNSW confirmed today that all the approvals have been implemented to enable floodplain harvesting licences in the Gwydir Regulated River Water Source and the Gwydir Unregulated Water Sources, where there is a licence with allocation available to take water. 

The  announcement confirmed that these licences can be used provided the total storage in Menindee Lakes is greater than 195GL.  The Menindee Lakes currently have a total of 1,958 GL storage or at 113% capacity, which is 1000 times more water than the drought limit triggers which restrict floodplain harvesting access. Restrictions are also removed when local in-valley flow targets can be achieved, these our outlined for each management zone in the WSP.

For a copy of the announcement, visit WaterInsights. 

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% and more information is available on our webpage linked below. 

To review the water allocation please see the Department website.

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. 

News |

Gwydir High Security and General Security water users will end the water year with full accounts, as Copeton Dam remains full at 99% with accounts again topped up to the full limits. 

There remains 34.3GL surplus water in Copeton Dam even after this last announcement which can be allocated to accounts with airspace. 

News |

IPART NSW have finalised water prices for the 2022-23 water year, agreeing to inflation only increases.  The outcome will see a 5.1% increase and will be felt by all water users, who are encountering significant input cost rises across their businesses.  With water availability high the cost increase will come at a time with farm production is also at its peak.  However users on a one-part tariff who do not use their allocation or licence this year, will need to absorb the increase as they have less opportunity to offset the rise through increased production. 

We have updated the pricing page with the current information. 

News |

This month DPIEW confirmed that all stored regulated accounts are again at their maximum level, with excess water stored in Copeton Dam.  This brings the years total allocation to 413% which is an odd way of explaining that accounts have been full and spilling since December 2021, only those with airspace can receive the available water.

There is excess water available for sharing remaining in Copeton Dam when the dam is higher than 95%, the most recent resource assessment had 1,300ML surplus water available for next months allocation announcement (provided their is account airspace).

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.