Rural

Public input sought on new water resource plans

The NSW Government continues to deliver on a key Basin Plan commitment with the release of the last three Status and Issues papers for community input as part of the water resource planning consultation, Group Director Water Planning & Policy, Dr Christobel Ferguson, announced.

“Water users and the broader community covered by five groundwater water resource plan areas are invited to comment on the Status and Issues Paper for their respective catchment, prepared as part of the development of the region’s water resource plan,” Dr Ferguson said.

“The release of these final three Status and Issues papers is the first step in developing each region’s water resource plan by identifying the water resources in the area.

“This includes identifying issues around water availability, access and sustainability, as well as looking at existing planning mechanisms.

“Each paper defines the status of the water resources and lists existing known water issues for consideration in the water resource planning process in each respective region.”

Regions covered by this round of consultation include the Lachlan and South Western Fractured Rock, New England Fractured Rock and Northern Basalts, Western Porous Rock, Eastern Porous Rock and NSW Great Artesian Basin Shallow groundwater sources.

“I urge all stakeholders from these areas to comment on the Status and Issues Paper for their respective region and to submit additional issues for consideration during the preparation of the water resource plans.”

Dr Ferguson said that NSW has set strict principles guiding the development of water resource plans.

“The plans must balance social, economic, cultural and environmental needs of the local communities without restricting availability of water to licence holders.

“Stakeholder feedback is critical to delivering on those principles and meeting the needs of local water users,” said Dr Ferguson.

With the completion of the current Status and Issues papers exhibition, all of the required 22 NSW Water Resource Plans will have progressed to the Strategy and Rule Development phase.

Copies of the Status and Issues Papers, together with other supporting information are available from the DPI Water website.

The exhibition period is open until Friday 15 September 2017. All written submissions, from brief emails to full technical papers, are welcome and will be given full consideration.

Source: NSW Government

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