Environmental issues


Macquarie and Cudgegong Environmental Flow Reference Group

The Macquarie and Cudgegong Environmental Flow Reference Group provides advice on managing environmental water in the Macquarie River catchment. Sources of environmental water include Environmental Water Allowance (EWA) made available under the Macquarie and Cudgegong Regulated Rivers Water Source 2003, adaptive environmental water held by the Office of Environment and Heritage and allocations made available from entitlements held by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.  

The Macquarie and Cudgegong Water Sharing Plan establishes an account for environmental water totalling 160,000ML, which is made up of translucent water that may be released from Burrendong Dam in conjunction with triggering rainfall events in the upper catchment, and active water that may be delivered at any time of the year to support defined ecological objectives. The account accrues water at the same rate as general security water. The task of the reference group includes providing advice on the priority of ecological objectives that will govern the use of environmental water in the coming water year. The group also advises the NSW Office of Water on allocating available water between active and translucent accounts.

While the environmental water in the Macquarie plays a vital role in protecting the Macquarie Marshes, it is insufficient to meet the needs of all the wetland areas in the Marsh. Natural flows provided by the Bell and Talbragar rivers and other tributaries, as well as moderate to large flood events, including spills from Burrendong Dam, are critical in sustaining the Macquarie Marshes.

Who are the members of the reference group?

Membership includes representatives from the:

  • Aboriginal community
  • Central West Catchment Management Authority
  • Cudgegong Valley Water Users
  • Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries)
  • Nature Conservation Council/Inland Rivers Network
  • Macquarie Effluent Creeks Association
  • Macquarie Marshes Environmental Landholders Association
  • Macquarie River Food and Fibre
  • NSW Office of Water
  • Office of Environment and Heritage
  • State Water Corporation
  • Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (observer status).

The Central West Catchment Management Authority chairs the reference group.

Contacting the reference group

Debbie Love
Office of Environment and Heritage
PO Box 2111
Dubbo NSW 2830
Telephone: (02) 6883 5315

Page last updated: 07 November 2012