Media Release: Chance to fix broken water rules in the Wambuul-Macquarie

13 October 2022

The second draft of the Macquarie-Castlereagh Regional Water Strategy is on public exhibition until November 1st.

Two webinars are being held Monday 17th, and Monday 24th. To register, go to the website.

Regional Water Strategies for the state were triggered by the severe 2017-2020 drought, which saw flows in the Wambuul-Macquarie River cut off at Warren, native fish rescued from shrinking green pools, and communities like Nyngan and Dubbo months off ‘day zero’.

The strategy includes climate change predictions that suggest the chances of another severe drought happening again could rise from a one in a thousand year event, to a one in thirty year event by 2070.

Inflows into Burrendong dam could halve in the next 50 years.

Mel Gray, Convenor of Healthy Rivers Dubbo said:

“It’s obvious a lot of work has gone into this strategy over a long time. There are a lot of great innovative ideas, but some worrying ones as well”

“It is irresponsible to keep managing water releases from Burrendong dam based on rainfall data from before 2003. Ignoring the recent unprecedented, severe drought, and allocating water as if it never happened is bordering on negligent.”

“Common sense dictates that enough water should be kept in Burrendong Dam to make sure Dubbo and other communities have enough water to survive more frequent and severe droughts. Town water security is the reason that tax payer money paid for that dam in the first place.”

“The only purpose the controversial Gin Gin re-regulating dam project would serve is to allow even more water to be taken from the river. The significant damage the dam would cause to native fish habitat and the Ramsar Macquarie Marshes is well documented. It’s time to scrap the Gin Gin dam dud of a project.”

“Reducing the size of the flood mitigation zone of Burrendong dam would put Dubbo at a higher risk of being flooded. After the events of this week, it’s ludicrous that this option is even mentioned in the strategy.”

Media Contact

Mel Gray – Convenor, Healthy Rivers Dubbo 0431 471 310

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