Minister pours water on growers’ fears

NSW Regional Water Minister Niall Blair expects lower Darling water reserves to last longer than early spring next year. INSET: Alan Whyte of Jamesville and Rachel Strachan of Tulney Point Station in the dry bed of the Darling River last year.

NSW Regional Water Minister Niall Blair expects lower Darling water reserves to last longer than early spring next year. INSET: Alan Whyte of Jamesville and Rachel Strachan of Tulney Point Station in the dry bed of the Darling River last year.

IT is “unrealistic” to expect the lower Darling River to stop flowing by next spring, NSW Regional Water Minister Niall Blair says.

But Mr Blair did not rule out placing restrictions on irrigators in northern NSW should supplying those on the Darling between Menindee and Ellerslie become a problem.

Lower Darling farmers have begun preparing for the river to dry up for the second time in three years after the Murray-Darling Basin Authority began increasing the volume of water released from the Menindee Lakes.

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