Water Commissioner in Menindee
Thursday, 6th March, 2014
NSW State Water Commissioner David Harriss met with a number of key stakeholders during a visit to Menindee yesterday.
The gathering was designed to inform locals after a number of major announcements affecting the Menindee Lakes System in recent months.
Chief among the developments was the commitment of all states to implement an amended Murray-Darling Basin plan.
“It was a huge milestone. There were five specific boxes NSW needed to be ticked,” Mr Harriss said.
Among the State Government’s requirements was a commitment to investment in water infrastructure and capping water buybacks at 1500 gigalitres.
By signing the agreement, NSW secured an extra $80 million funding over the next eight years.
As well as protecting Broken Hill’s water supply and environmental conservation, Mr Harriss said, the recreational value of the lakes system was also important to the NSW Government.
An $800,000 funding announcement to investigate evaporation and control of the lakes reverting from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to NSW also contributed to the need for ongoing consultation.
Mr Harriss said maintaining an open and transparent dialogue was a crucial part of his role.
“We’re never going to keep people happy, but it’s important to have a good consultation arrangement,” he said.
“We try to get out and visit a couple of times a year.”
Representatives from City Council, Essential Energy and State Water were among those in attendance.