New water sharing plan rules for the Barwon-Darling are proposed to commence on July 1, while others will begin for the Gwydir on December 1 this year.
The new water sharing plans are designed to protect water for the environment and river connectivity, according to Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) assistant director of water policy delivery Dr Julie-Anne Harty.
Dr Harty said water management in NSW has been rigorously reformed over the past two years, through the DPIE's Water Reform Action Plan, providing amendments for sharing water.
"These amendments support the sustainable, equitable and efficient allocation of water to achieve better social and environmental outcomes," she said.
"They will improve the delivery of environmental water by protecting it from consumptive extraction, so it can remain in the rivers to achieve its intended environmental outcomes."
From July 1, the proposed measures include implementing individual daily extraction components in the Barwon-Darling, and a resumption of the flow rule in the Barwon-Darling River.
The measures proposed for December 1 include implementing active management in some unregulated portions of the Gwydir and Macquarie valleys and in the Barwon-Darling River.
"The new rules will help improve water quality," Dr Harty said.
"This is critical as Professor Vertessy's report highlighted the importance of water quality, particularly when there was little to no flow in the rivers."
Dr Harty said for environmental reform initiatives to be successful, licence holders and other stakeholders must be aware of, accept and comply with the new rules and conditions.
"The new rules change the system for how licence users know when they can pump. Water users need to know and understand the new rules, which will be stated on re-issued licences," she said.
Simple instructions on how to comply with the new rules are available online at https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/environmental-water-hub/water-reform-action-plan/information and by direct engagement. There is also a general enquiries email address firstname.lastname@example.org for those licence holders who have questions.
Further details can be found at the Department's environmental water hub located here: https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/environmental-water-hub.