Barambah Creek locals have their say on groundwater management
Barambah Creek locals and farmers from Ficks Crossing to Wooroonden are being asked to have their say on how groundwater will be managed in the area.
Water Services Regional Manager for the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Paul Sanders, said public consultation opened today (Thursday 9 April) on proposed water sharing rules for the Barambah Creek Groundwater Management Area, while farmers and industry could provide further feedback on their individual draft water licences.
“Barambah Creek groundwater supports a diverse mix of irrigated crops and intensive agriculture, from cotton and hay to dairy farms and piggeries, as well as stock and domestic water for Merlwood, Mondure and Wheatlands,” he said.
“Under a draft Water Entitlement Notice, 61 water licences totalling almost 6,900 megalitres will be issued to give farmers and industry clearly defined water access rights.
“A draft amendment to the Water Management Protocol sets the rules for how water will be managed in times of drought.
“These defined and transparent changes have been developed in consultation with local water users to help landowners grow their business in the future.”
Mr Sanders said collaboration has been a key priority, with the Queensland Government facilitating 12 public meetings, six working group meetings, and 52 one-on-one meetings with farmers and industry before delivering these draft plans.
“I’d like to thank all the local farmers and industry representatives who have been instrumental in developing a fair and equitable process for determining how much water they would each receive,” he said.
“Farmers and industry now have another 34 business days to have their final say on their individual licences amounts.”
Mr Sanders also encouraged locals to have their say on the draft protocol which specifies the water level triggers that determine how much groundwater could be taken each year.
“It’s vital that we sustainably manage our shared water resources, and if groundwater levels drop to a certain point so too will how much water licence holders can take,” he said.
“Clear triggers and actions will help ensure all water users have access to a defined share of the groundwater resource, particularly during periods of drought.”
Consultation on the draft amendment to the Water Management Protocol and Draft Water Entitlement Notice for the Barambah Creek Groundwater Management Area (part of the Burnett Basin Water Plan) is open on Get Involved and DNRME website from Thursday 9 April to Friday 29 May.
Following the consultation process, the final Water Entitlement Notice and Water Management Protocol are expected to be delivered mid-2020 with final individual water licences to be issued shortly afterwards.
Last updated 9 April 2020