Water restrictions lifted after rain relief

WaterNSW lifts temporary pumping restriction for Lower Namoi and Lower Macquarie valleys

Irrigation
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It marks a big win for family farmers.

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Temporary water pumping restrictions for the Lower Namoi and Lower Macquarie valleys have been lifted.

The restrictions were announced on April 1 after recent rainfall in a bid to protect any inflows for town supplies, the environment, stock and domestic use and other critical needs only, consistent with the government's drought policy principles.

The move to lift the restrictions was intended to permit smaller farm operations to access minor flows within the Namoi system, flows that are not of sufficient volume to reach the Barwon-Darling.

WaterNSW executive manager of system operations Adrian Langdon said the restrictions had allowed stock and domestic users in the Lower Macquarie and Namoi to secure supply and town supplies, most notably Walgett, received inflows over the past three to four weeks.

"The decision has now been taken to extend that benefit to the family farmers who have been without reliable water for up to two years, to utilise these small flows to hopefully grow some fodder or sustain some winter cropping to generate invaluable income in one of the regions hit hardest by drought," he said.

"The important point is that these flows are not going to reach the Barwon-Darling system, so having been able to offer some improved short-term water security to priority users, we are now able to bring relief to other drought-affected farm communities."

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