26 September 2023

DPE opens water strategies for comment

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The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) is calling on the community to have its say on draft regional water strategies for the Murray and Murrumbidgee regions.

Executive Director of Strategy and Policy at DPE, Kaia Hodge said the draft Murray Regional Water Strategy and draft Murrumbidgee Regional Water Strategy outlined options for securing water in the region over the next 20 years and beyond.

“The Murray and Murrumbidgee are two of the biggest regions in NSW,” Ms Hodge said.

“Water drives agriculture and tourism, it supports towns and ensures a healthy local environment, which in the Murray and Murrumbidgee includes 22 nationally important wetlands, four of which are Ramsar-listed,” she said.

“The Murray and Murrumbidgee are extremely complex systems and the Department of Planning and Environment is undertaking extensive work to build and integrate new, state-of-the-art hydrological modelling as a critical component of the draft regional water strategies.”

Ms Hodge said by using new climate data, DPE had developed the draft strategies to gain significant knowledge of the wider region’s unique water needs and challenges.

“These will help inform how future demands across the region are met,” she said.

“The draft strategies put forward a wide range of potential solutions to address the region’s water-related challenges and support environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to managing water in our regions.”

The Executive Director encouraged all members of the community, as well as stakeholders in the Murray and Murrumbidgee regions, to have their say on the proposed options and help improve the draft strategies.

Ms Hodge said webinars, face-to-face general information sessions and Aboriginal engagement sessions would take place throughout April and May, with online consultation open until 22 May.

DPE’s 191-page Draft Strategy for the Murray can be accessed at this PS News link and its 231-page Draft Strategy for the Murrumbidgee at this link.

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