Comment sought on water sharing plan for Valley

COMMENT is being sought on a draft water sharing plan that covers water sources and aquifers within the Clarence Valley.

Department of Primary Industries Director General Water Gavin Hanlon said the Clarence Water Sharing Plan is one of 58 water sharing plans the

NSW Government is developing across the State for unregulated rivers and groundwater.

"For the first time in the Clarence, the plan will establish rules on how water will be shared, providing certainty to water dependent businesses, commercial licensed irrigators and the environment," Mr Hanlon said.

"As part of the consultation process, the NSW Office of Water will be contacting all licence holders by mail and inviting them to comment on the plan.

"The draft Clarence plan covers 52 unregulated water sources and the associated alluvial aquifers within the Clarence catchment.

"The plan area includes the townships of Grafton, Maclean, Yamba and Dorrigo. The

draft plan also includes the Dorrigo Plateau surface water source by replacing the 2004 water sharing plan for that water source."

Mr Hanlon said the draft plan includes rules for protecting the environment, managing water extraction, and facilitating water trading and once finalised, the plan will be legally binding for 10 years.

The public consultation period will run until March 20, 2015.

The plan can be viewed at the NSW Office of Water website

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