NSW submits water plans

By Jamieson Salter

New South Wales has submitted the first of its Water Resource Plans to assist water management in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt said the plans were being assessed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

“I’d like to thank my NSW counterpart Water Minister Melinda Pavey for this important milestone, which is a sign of our positive collaboration on water management in the Murray-Darling Basin,” Mr Pitt said.

Ms Pavey said 11 of NSW's Water Resource Plans were now being assessed.

“The plans relate to groundwater through the NSW section of the basin and my department is now working the remaining nine related to surface water,” Ms Pavey said.

“I made a commitment to communities late last year that I would re-engage with them on Water Resource Plans, and I will continue to meet that commitment throughout this process.

"Despite the challenges associated with COVID-19, my department and I are working with communities through video and tele-conferencing to ensure their views are heard for the remaining nine surface water plans.”

Mr Pitt congratulated Ms Pavey for working through difficult circumstances to submit the plans, including drought and COVID-19.

“These water resource plans are an integral part of the basin plan, and having them in place will provide certainty for water users,” Mr Pitt said.

The MDBA will review the Water Resource Plans against the requirements of the basin plan and advise Mr Pitt on the outcome.

“While assessing the plans can take some effort, my expectation is that this will be done quickly to ensure that our basin communities have the certainty that they deserve,” Mr Pitt said.

“I look forward to receiving the remaining NSW plans in the near future."