News

Water worries

Keepit Dam’s storage is at 2.5%.

Namoi Water member John Clements, Wee Waa Chamber of Commerce president Ann-Maree Galagher and irrigator James Kahl.

The Department of Industry and Water announced an easing of temporary water restrictions for general security water users in the Namoi Valley but it will have very little impact due to chronically low dam levels caused by zero inflows over the last six months.

There are still deep concerns about water availability as levels at Split Rock and Keepit Dams plummet.

Keepit Dam’s storage is at 2.5%.

The department said customers can now extract any water they have ordered on or before November 5 2018 but trade of general security allocations in the Lower Namoi remains closed due to water shortage conditions.

While the 15 percent restriction in the Upper Namoi water source has been lifted, Lower Namoi general security water orders submitted after November 5 still cannot be accepted due to the lack of water.

WaterNSW has invited customers and stakeholders to information sessions in Wee Waa on Wednesday and Narrabri on Thursday this week to discuss dam operations in the valley and future contingency plans.

This week’s information sessions follow another water policy meeting held in the district, in the last month.

The Wee Waa Chamber of Commerce organised a meeting with Murray Darling Basin Authority representatives including chief executive Phillip Glyde.

“We followed up with the MDBA asking them to come good on their promise to come back to the Wee Waa community post 2016’s ‘Saving Wee Waa’ campaign,” said Chamber of Mrs Galagher

The Chamber of Commerce and irrigators have been waiting on answers from the MDBA for two years but think the meeting showed some promising signs and might result in access to crucial information.

However, there are concerns it will still be very difficult to make legislative changes to a regulation that takes an extra 10 gigalitres of water from Namoi Valley irrigators for environmental flows.