WaterNSW has implemented temporary pump restrictions set by the State Government to restrict access for unregulated licence holders located between Bathurst and major upstream dams to 20 per cent of their entitlement, effective from 1 November 2019.

The section 324 order applies to:

  • Unregulated access licence holders on the Campbell’s River and Macquarie River between Chifley Dam and Bathurst
  • Unregulated access licence holders on the Fish River and Macquarie River between Oberon Dam and Bathurst

WaterNSW notes that the restrictions do not apply for access in areas for stock and domestic supply and basic landholder rights.

The intention of the restrictions is to extend the supply available for Bathurst town use and critical needs by reducing the demand on water releases from Oberon and Chifley Dams.

WaterNSW has also announced an additional temporary pump restriction to preserve flows currently occurring in the Barwon-Darling river system, for towns and stock and domestic supply only.

The section 324 order came into effect on 4 November and applies to the Darling River between the Culgoa confluence upstream of Bourke, and Lake Wetherell in the Menindee lakes system in the Far West.

The temporary pump restriction means irrigators with A, B and C class licences who might otherwise extract the water are not permitted to do so. The order is in effect until 31 December 2019.

The temporary restriction does not apply to the take of water for testing metering equipment and does not apply to the take of water from farm dams.

Up until the most recent rainfall, town water supplies for towns on the Darling had not received inflow for many weeks: Louth (172 days), Tilpa (167 days), and Wilcannia (117 days). Bourke had not received flows for in excess of 400 days.

The newest announcement follows heavy weekend rains in the Bourke region that have filled the town’s weir and caused flow events at various points along the Darling River, most notably downstream from the Bourke weir.

At this point the size of the flow is yet to be determined but authorities are hopeful the water will reach Louth and Tilpa town weir pools.

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