Water

Floodplain harvesting to be measured in NSW from next year

By Rodney Woods

The long-awaited Floodplain Harvesting Measurement Policy is a big step forward to ensure all water take is accurately metered and managed, according to the NSW Irrigators’ Council.

The policy applies to landholders in the northern Murray-Darling Basin who will receive a floodplain harvesting water access licence in 2021.

NSW Irrigators’ Council interim chief executive officer Claire Miller said the policy, which was released on August 6, was exactly what the industry deserved.

“The policy uses the latest in telemetry and metering technology, and as an industry, we expect nothing less,” she said.

“If it can't be measured, it can't be managed.

“Now with firm metering requirements in place, the community will have more trust that floodplain harvesting is being managed at sustainable levels.”

NSW will be the first state in Australia to meter floodplain harvesting and it is the only state to have an independent agency with ‘water police’ with boots on the ground and satellites in the sky ensuring full compliance with water laws.

“The old days are gone, for good,” Ms Miller said.

“The irrigation industry has embraced these changes, and we look forward to the public appreciating also that the times have changed.”

The new requirements will come into effect from July 1, 2021.