Lower-Darling grower slams floodplains proposal: Worse than theft

ALLOWING farmers in northern NSW to harvest water with illegally-built earthworks has a greater impact on the Darling River’s health than water theft, according to a Sunraysia horticulturist.

The NSW Department of Industry has consulted the public on plans to formalise farmers’ take of water from floodplains by handing out licences to those who have built earthworks capable of capturing water during wet times and directing it into storages.

Concerns were raised about the accuracy of how much water was being taken out of the system, so the government intends to make holders of the new floodplain licences measure changes in their on-farm storage volumes in the first three years after the licences take effect.

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