According to Cotton Australia’s National Water Policy Manager, Michael Murray, the policy represents another important milestone in the full implementation of the Water Management Act 2000 (WMA 2000), and compliance with the National Water Initiative (NWI).
“This policy regularises the taking of licensed quanties of floodplain water, an important source of water for irrigation industries, particularly in North-West NSW,” Mr Murray said.
“As an industry we recognise the importance of having a robust, legal framework that can manage the level of extraction, as well as provide security for irrigators who rely on this source of water.”
Mr Murray says the policy would allow no increase in floodplain harvesting, but in line with nearly all other classes of water licences in NSW, provided licensing in perpetuity and compensability under the WMA 2000.
“In addition, the policy provides for practical and manageable water account rules, which take in the highly variable nature of floodplain harvesting opportunities, and sets up the opportunity for trading which is consistent with the NWI principles,” Mr Murray says.
“The Government deserves congratulations for the manner in which it has engaged with industry on this issue, and has come up with a policy that protects the state’s water resources, while providing security to entitlement holders,” he says.
Cotton Australia will continue to work closely with valley-based irrigator representative bodies and the Government as this policy is implemented.
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