The NSW Government has responded to calls from NSW Farmers to boost staff resources within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s (DPIE) water division to meet increasing demand for bore license applications.
NSW Farmers has advocated for the hiring of more hydrogeologists since meeting with DPIE and Water NSW in October to discuss the ‘no water’ scenario for intensive livestock producers.
“We were shocked to discover that applications for bore licenses that were needed for urgent water contingency planning had blown out to 7 months,” says NSW Farmers President James Jackson.
“We urged the government reps at that meeting to move urgently to hire more resources for the bore license assessment team. If farmers don’t get bore licenses in place as soon as possible, the consequences could be very serious indeed.”
“Certainty about the access to groundwater is the most important thing for intensive producers who were being told to urgently plan for the cessation of flows in the rivers. Rivers are often a key source of groundwater recharge as well.”
“We are glad that government has responded to our advocacy on this very important issue and added nine more assessment staff.”
There was a 33 per cent increase in applications for new bores in September compared to August, demonstrating the desperate need for water in this unparalleled drought.
“Our members are reporting a drying effect in their valleys resulting in zones of significant depletion.”
Hydrogeological assessment is required for some stock and domestic bores as well as by temporary groundwater trades, permanent trades, new bores or those seeking a review of extraction limits on existing approvals.