Metering will clear muddy waters

 
NSW Farmers has repeated calls for greater transparency in the management of floodplain harvesting in the northern basin. 
    
Responding to an article in The Guardian newspaper, NSW Farmers President James Jackson said consistent, regulated and compliant metering across the Basin must be implemented to ensure the integrity of water sharing arrangements. 

“Real-time metering and monitoring for both water quantity and water quality is essential for adaptive responses to water management, protecting in-stream flows and floodplain first flows and making systems more resilient to drought and floods,” Mr Jackson said. 
 
In a letter to Water Minister Melinda Pavey in May 2020, NSW Famers urged the Minister to implement our calls for comprehensive metering and monitoring across the Basin.

“The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment must develop a clear and transparent process to manage first flush events in the northern basin.”

“The government’s slow progress toward full metering of the NSW watershed is significantly undermining our members’ efforts to build support for irrigated agriculture and the myriad of benefits that farming brings to the NSW economy and communities.”

“We need to learn lessons from the northern floodplain first flush event in February 2020. The process followed by the Department lacked clear communication.  There was insufficient transparency around decision making and objectives for the event were uncertain.” 

For this reason, the Association welcomes the review of the management of the first flush event through the Northern Basin First Flush Assessment. NSW Farmers is preparing a comprehensive submission to this review.

“NSW Farmers has long standing policy that supports watershed management rules that prioritise the use of flows to meet critical human and environmental needs and for stock and domestic use during times of drought.

“Management of the watershed as a connected system is fair, and maximises benefits for the majority of producers and the environmental outcomes that the MDBP is intended to achieve.”

Date: 29 May 2020
Media Contact:  Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au