Properties in the Barwon-Darling region from Bourke to Mungindi will be visited by officers from the state’s water regulator this week as part of audit campaign ‘Operation Yadhala Mil’.
The campaign by the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) will take place on traditional lands of several Indigenous nations, including the Ngemba, Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay. The campaign’s name Yadhala Mil is Gamilaraay for ‘sharp eye’.
Officers aim to audit a total of 22 properties in Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Collarenebri and Mungindi between 23-28 September.
Director Regional Water Regulation (West-Murray Darling) Graeme White said the fact the state was struggling through one of the worst droughts on record meant that ensuring fair access to water for regional communities, water users and the environment was even more critical.
“Extreme drought brings the necessity for water rules into even sharper focus,” Mr White said.
“Our officers will ensure the water users they visit know the rules and make sure they are adhering to their licence and approval conditions.
“They will be looking at water take, licences, approvals, unlicensed floodplain works, log books and meter installation.
“In times of scarce supply every drop counts. NRAR’s role in ensuring compliance with water regulations is more important than ever, and we will have officers in key areas to monitor water take over the coming summer months.
“Ensuring that water users are aware of the rules and complying with them means when it does rain, the water will be shared in the fairest way.”
NRAR’s investigators and compliance officers travel all over the state’s 57 water sharing plan areas, inspecting properties and assessing compliance with water users’ licences and the Water Management Act 2000.
To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, go to the NRAR website at industry.nsw.gov.au/nrar and fill out a suspicious activity form.