Water

Drought wears on

By Country News

Drought conditions continue to grip NSW despite significant rainfall providing some relief to parts of the state.

In its latest seasonal update, NSW DPI said the state continued to experience ‘‘prolonged and widespread drought conditions’’ although there were now ‘‘some isolated areas of the state in drought recovery’’.

As of Tuesday, some 99.2 per cent of the state was still experiencing drought conditions.

Twenty-five per cent of NSW is in intense drought, 47 per cent is in drought and 27.2 per cent is drought affected.

Significant rainfalls in March resulted in parts of the state’s Southern Tablelands, eastern Riverina, central-west and east moving into the early stages of drought recovery, the DPI said on Tuesday.

In the far west, north-west and parts of central NSW, drought conditions remained unchanged with some areas still experiencing ‘‘intense drought’’.

As a result, there is a persistent soil moisture deficit, feed gap and limited sowing opportunities with water supplies also under stress.

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said it was ‘‘wonderful’’ that parts of the state received their first rainfalls in a long time — but it wasn’t enough to provide a break from the drought.

‘‘Sadly drought is continuing to retain its tight grip on the state and more follow-up rain is needed to ensure that any short-term improvement is sustained,’’ Mr Marshall said.