Independent report backs floodplain harvesting models
An independent peer-reviewed report commissioned by the Murray Darling Basin Authority has confirmed the accuracy of the NSW Government modelling used for floodplain harvesting laws.
Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson welcomed the report and further evidence validating the State’s data.
“The NSW Government’s floodplain harvesting policy is the biggest environmental reform in this area we have ever seen. This reform will strengthen protection for the environment and downstream water users,” Mr Anderson said.
“When it comes to managing water in NSW my view is healthy rivers, healthy farms and healthy communities. This report from independent experts shows we’re on the right track.
“It is encouraging to see this report confirms that water being licensed is within existing legal limits. The NSW Government models have been independently scrutinised and verified many times over and the fact remains our modelling is accurate.”
The new report is the most recent review in a long series dating back to 2009, which have been conducted by independent specialists in water industry reform, policy development and modelling.
“The report found our models are valid, scientifically rigorous and underpinned by the best available data,” Mr Anderson said.
“They ensure licensed floodplain harvesting water take will be restricted where necessary to ensure total diversions are less than the established legal limits, including the cap.
“This reform will benefit water users, downstream communities, and the environment, with up to 100 billion litres of water to be returned to the floodplains in the northern river valleys each year.”
Floodplain harvesting licences have already been issued for the Border River and Gwydir valleys, with licences for the Macquarie, Barwon-Darling, and Namoi valleys to be determined later this year and in early 2023.
For more information on the NSW Government’s floodplain harvesting policy, visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
To read the independent report, visit the MDBA’s website.