NSW water regulator encouraged by compliance with pumping embargo on Namoi, Macquarie and Peel rivers

There have been no specific incidents of non-compliance detected by the state's water use watchdog, after a pumping imargo was imposed on parts of the Namoi, Macquarie and Peel rivers.

The embargo was imposed by the NSW government following significant rainfall in the Namoi, Macquarie and Peel catchments areas on March 30.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) deployed officers to carry out a targeted compliance campaign in the area last week to support the embargo, and the NRAR's chief regulatory officer Grant Barnes said in a statement that it was encouraging that no specific incidents of non-compliance with the embargo were detected.

An allegation of a breach made to the NRAR by a member of the public is being investigated.

Mr Barnes said the NRAR officers had covered a lot of ground over the course of the week and he was encouraged by what they had found - that water users were aware of the restrictions in place and were complying.

"The onus is on the water user to ensure there is no restriction on their ability to pump before they do so, and I want to thank water users as that's exactly what we have seen over the last week," he said.

"Most water users follow the rules and meet requirements, and I think the level of compliance we are seeing over the course of this campaign is very encouraging and says a lot about the willingness of water users to comply."

The embargo, or section 324 order, is in place to protect the recent inflows to the Peel, Namoi and Macquarie River catchments from general extraction due to the extended drought, however Mr Barnes said it is important to remember that not all pumping is prohibited by the orders.

"Water users are allowed to pump for stock and domestic purposes, and some high security users such as town water utilities are allowed to source water for residential supply," he said.

"This can make it difficult for the public to detect non-compliance.

"My investigators and compliance officers are continuing their proactive monitoring as they work to deliver a fair, transparent and enforceable water compliance system to prevent water theft. Part of this is the educational advice and assistance we provide to those we visit, or who call us. It is just as important as our compliance activities."

To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, contact the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 or email nrar.enquiries@nrar.nsw.gov.au. For further information about NRAR and what it does, visit www.industry.nsw.gov.au/natural-resources-access-regulator.