Copeton Dam is at 40% and steady and as a result, general security allocations have increased by 39.12% resulting in 54.8% allocation for
the year for environmental and production. Most of this water will be carried over to be used at a later time.
Full supplementary allocations were also made available with up to 116,000 ML ordered by irrigators and 5,700 ML by environmental water
holders during these events.
WaterNSW have initiated flood forecasting and reporting following the recent widespread rain and flooding in the Gwydir, Border Rivers,
Macquarie and Culgoa. This replicates and updates their reporting during the First Flush event in 2020. The most
recent update on 6
April revealed between 400-600GL to flow into Menindee Lakes from all the tributaries. However, forecasting is limited due to the nature of
the floodplain flows and natural breakouts along the Barwon River.
Its great to see so many rivers full and spilling.
How the water is managed once it reaches Menindee Lakes will be closely scrutinised given the likely volumes and the many competing
interests there. The NSW Water Minister recently said "NSW will be making decisions on how to manage the inflows into the
Menindee System with the first objective being to improve water supplies in the Lower Darling coimmunities and ensure the top two Lakes are
filled" via The Land ift.tt/3wybHSV.
The peak of the floods in the Gwydir Valley have passed through the township of Moree and are heading west. Many describe this event as
being two floods, the one caused initially from local rainfall of between 100-200mm and then the flood from upstream water sources like the
Horton River into the Gwydir and Mehi systems, that came at least three-days later.
Local rainfall and unregulated water is therefore, now being backed up by the major floodwaters from upstream, which is likely to result in
sustained, major flooding in the lower sections of the Gwydir floodplain.
All the rivers and creeks in the lower floodplain are flowing above capacity as water spills out. There is 100% supplementary access
available. During this time, Copeton Dam has increased from 22% to 39% capacity during this event, with a resource allocation likely
in early April in response.
There is a history of flooding in the Gwydir Valley and the peak height of the flood in Moree and surrounding gauges is provided on our
page 'History of Flooding' and compared with previous large and major floods.
Also, we encourage you to fill out the Natural Disaster Damage Survey https://fal.cn/3ecfO.
The survey is for NSW DPI and Local
Land Services NSW
staff, farmers and agricultural industry representatives can use to record damage to primary production and animals from natural disasters.
Currently NSW are implementing a compliance and licencing reform for floodplain harvesting take, when our rivers and floodplains are full
and spilling but NSW are designing it without any consideration to social and economic factors in the communities in the northern basin.
Water users accept that legal limits must be recognised, but decisions on how to achieve these limits must consider the socio-economic
impacts on community that’s because past reforms have taught us how important water is to our community. We know every $1 lost at the
farm gate will take a minimum of $2.18 from our economy, it means less money to spend in shops and businesses, less jobs and less families
and less services in our community.
None of us can afford for government to put us in a man-made drought while we are still recovering from this one.
We are asking everyone to get involved to help ensure our voice is heard.
HAVE YOUR SAY and provide a submission to government on these rules via this link, to put our communities back into the picture.
Key in this process is questions 8.1 and 9.1, whereby flexibility to have access to a flood is essential for our community. We
estimate the community impact of this to be conservatively, $1.1B if we cannot enact some change right now.
The NSW Government has released their newest tool to monitor, manage and communicate to water users and the community groundwater
take. The amount of groundwater that can be extracted from a groundwater source is limited. While the amount extracted by all
water users varies each year, on average it cannot exceed the extraction limits. Before July each year, the department assesses if average
extraction over the previous five years has exceeded the long-term average annual extraction limit plus a buffer (called the compliance
This tool can help identify risks to valley compliance and given water usage has reduced, the Lower Gwydir groundwater is unlikely to breach any required limits and this is explained
in this report.
The February Copeton Dam assessment was completed with no further allocations provided. All essential supply and delivery accounts are
fully reserved and deliveries have returned to on-demand, as opposed to bulk ordered. The region remains on 15.57% allocation
with 232GL stored in Copeton Dam.
The NSW Government session will cover key information to help you get measurement ready. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions
to a panel from the department's Water division and NRAR.
Trade stalls will be held after the information session so you can meet and connect with metering suppliers, installers and key department
staff from the floodplain harvesting licencing and approvals team.
NSW Department are holding face-to-face consultation on proposed rules for floodplain harvesting in the Gwydir Valley for the regulated and
unregulated water sources, in Moree on Wednesday 24th February and Thursday 25th February. Due to COVID safe restrictions you must
register. Visit the Department website below.
We encourage all members and associated agricultural businesses to attend to hear about this historic reform and how NSW intends to manage
it into the future. Implementing floodplain harvesting will be a significant regulatory shift for our industry and will have
community impacts, ad water users adjust to new rules.
By releasing draft floodplain harvesting rules and updated modeling results for the Gwydir Valley the NSW Government took another small but
important step forward in transitioning this historical form of take into the current regulatory framework, 20-years in the making.
The process, won't be without impact but will have broad benefits as well. Volumetric licensing together with modern measurement and
compliance, is the only way to have greater transparency and accountability for everyone who shares in floods. Its why we have particpated
in it and its time to move forward from estimating such interceptions and start defining and managing them better.
The documenation is extensive and includes the modeling process applied to update models with the best information and better represent
floodplain harvesting, as well as, proposes new rules for Regulated and Unregulated Water Sharing Plans in the region. There are a range of
companion reports on environmental benefits and downstream outcomes and all of the reports are available from the Department's
More information on floodplain havresting in the Gwydir Valley is available on our Floodplain Flow and Licensing page.
There will be an NDrip field day in Wee Waa, on Thursday 28th January from 10:00 to 11:00am. If you are interested in looking at this
gravity powered micro-irrigation system, Please RSVP to email@example.com or phone 0428.669.157
GVIA digital technologies and automated Irrigation field day is being held on Wednesday 10th February 2021. Our Covid-19 plan required
participants to register to attend. Buses will be leaving Reynolds Fogarty at 7:30am
please also register for this.
Are you aware of pig damage in your crops or to livestock enterprises, but find it difficult to quantify the extent of the damage, and what
that equates to in dollar terms?
To answer this question, Local Land Services has worked with AgEcon to undertake a study that puts
figures on the real cost of feral pigs on several different enterprises and to compare control options.
Join the LLS online for our first webinar back for 2021. Register here.
11 Feb 2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dont Forget the GVIA has funds available to support producers in our region with the control of feral pigs. For more information
contact the office; 02 67521399
WaterNSW have announced supplementary access in the Gwydir Valley which shares unregulated flows 50:50 between the environment and water
users. This is following recent localised rainfall below Copeton Dam between 100-200mm with more inflows expected as ungauged inflows are measured. Current announcement between 5-20% depending on on your location equalling approximately 14,000 megaltires. You must
place an eligible water order.
An operations update on current river flows is available from WaterNSW.
Recent localised rainfall in the Gwydir Valley means the region is fortunate enough to have generated local unregulated inflows below
Copeton Dam. The flow rate and volume means localised flooding will occur and moderate and minor flood warnings have been issues for some
sections of the river.
These natural inflows come at a time when general security users are on just 5% allocation and Copeton Dam is at 13%. Current interested
general security users were receiving their allocation in bulk to reduce losses, this has provided connectivity in most sections of the
Our water sharing plan rules set a clear and transparent process to ensure flows for connectivity and our internationally recognised
wetlands, whilst sharing any surplus water to benefit our community, it’s people and it’s economy.
The BOM also provided flood warnings in the Gwydir Valley, on the Gwydir River at Gravesend a minor warning with moderate downstream of
Pallamallawa and minor warning for the Mehi River. Flows are estimated to be above the safe operating level of river infrastructure
and will be largely unmanageable. They will naturally flow towards the watercourse area to peak at this stage Friday evening.
Keep updated via the BOM flood watch and be safe.
If you become aware that your meter is not working or is faulty, it is your responsibility to register using a s.91i self reporting
process within 24 hours . You have 21 days then to have a Duly Qualified Person inspect your meter. This process is also to be used if you have recently
installed an approved local intelligence device (telemetry unit) as per the NSW non-urban Metering Rules and for some reason it is not
connecting to the Data Acquisition Service or functioning correctly.
Provided you have a fully functioning water meter with data logging capability or are keeping appropriate records according to your licence
conditions of water take, time, volume and purpose, you are not required to lodge a s.91i self report to access water ordered during this upcoming bulk delivery, even if you are awaiting final validation of your meter or install of your telemetry according
to the new NSW non-urban Metering rules.
This delivery presents an opportunity for water users with approved water orders, to undertake flow testing and operational checks required to finalise your validation process, please let your DQP know your delivery schedule.
You must keep records of your effort to be compliant by your required deadline according to NRAR's
Compliance Approach and
the proposed industry implementation schedule.
WaterNSW today advised that with low volumes of water available and continued hot, dry conditions, the single block release for 2020/21
general security deliveries in the Gwydir Valley will be brought forward.
The revised dates for the block release from Copeton Dam are:
Releases will commence on Friday 26 November 2020, and
Releases will cease around 24 December 2020.
Orders must be placed prior to 18 December 2020 via iWAS or calling the helpdesk via 1300 662 077. For users West of Moree place your
orders ASAP to help ensure effecient delivery.
As part of the NSW Government's commitment to regulating and measuring floodplain harvesting, changes to the Water Management (General)
Regulation 2018 to include floodplain harvesting requirements are being proposed.
The proposed changes aim to improve the management of floodplain harvesting across NSW and will:
allow for floodplain harvesting licences to be issued,
After not being able to plant our irrigation efficiency trial last season due to no water, it is great to now have crops in the ground for
this season. The trial will include a look at the new surface drip system from Netafim, a new EnviroNode Farm Automation Controller on the Smart Siphons, the lateral system, the original bankless system and the new fully automated bankless system with Padman Stops auto
The Darling River in the northern basin contributes on average about 14 per cent of the total flow in the River Murray (the southern basin)
at the point where the Darling enters the Murray.
In reality, most years do not deliver an average contribution from the Darling River. Averages mask extreme fluctuations in Darling flows,
which are driven by the ephemeral and dynamic, boom and bust nature of rainfall in the northern Basin.
This means that major changes to inflows from the northern basin have only minor impacts on total Murray inflows. For example, DPIEW
recently stated in an update to stakeholders that a 10% reduction in inflows from the Lower Darling would result in only a 1.4% reduction in total inflows to the River Murray.
The greatest influence on NSW allocations is the flow from the upper Murray catchments.
GVIA vice chair Jim Cush, who also farms in the NSW Border Rivers and the Namoi, is relieved the Healthy Floodplains project - established
to oversee the licencing - is nearing its end.
"It's been a long time coming, especially considering it started with the River Management Committee discussions that committed to
licencing during the development of our first water sharing plan in the early 2000s," he said.
"The Department is finally getting its act together."
Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association (GVIA) has welcomed the state government's commitment to moving forward with its management of
overland flow with the release of draft accounting rules and floodplain licensing outcomes for the Border Rivers, the first of the five
NSW DPIE recently announced no further allocations for the Gwydir Valley. Total water available remains at 37,000 megalitres for
general security irrigation and 44 megalitres for environmental users after 5,000 megalitres of high security allocation was
transferred into their general security account. The essential supplies account is now 4,000 megalitres in deficit, which will need
to be addressed prior to any new allocations.
Water NSW announced that unless conditions improve a single block release for general security allocations will be scheduled for 7 December
and continue for approximately 28 days. General security water will need to be stored on-farm as used as required.
(Photo: irrigated wheat prior to harvest, west Moree, NSW by Lou Gall).