Environmental issues

Water

Environmental water advisory groups

Since 2007, the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and its predecessors have been responsible for managing environmental water in NSW, including coordinating and supporting NSW environmental water advisory groups (EWAGs).

EWAGs play an important role in advising the NSW Government on environmental water management activities and provide a unique forum for drawing on expert knowledge, including local knowledge and experience.

At present there are three statutory EWAGs:

and two non-statutory EWAGs:

Role of the environmental water advisory groups

The objective of each environmental water advisory group is to assimilate a range of knowledge and experience to advise on both planned and adaptive environmental water that can be actively managed. Planned environmental water is water that is set aside under water sharing plans for fundamental ecosystem health or other specified environmental purposes and cannot be taken or used for any other purpose. Adaptive environmental water is water that, under an access licence, is committed for specified environmental purposes through a condition on an access licence.

EWAGs must ensure that the advice and reports they produce are consistent with the relevant water sharing plan for their regulated water source. Before the start of each water year (July to June), each EWAG provides advice on developing an annual watering plan. These plans consider recent environmental watering history and forecast likely water management actions for the next water year at the valley scale, under different climatic scenarios. They aim to anticipate what short-term opportunities are likely to arise during the year and identify how to implement various watering actions in order to meet identified environmental objectives.

Helping to manage environmental water in your area

As a member of the community, you may be able to provide information that can help manage environmental water in your area. Contact your local environmental water advisory group if you:

  • notice that a bird breeding event has started
  • are concerned about the condition of local wetlands
  • notice a fish kill (which you should also report to Environment Line on 131 555)
  • have concerns about water quality
  • have other information that may be relevant to managing environmental water.
Page last updated: 07 November 2012