Collaboration key to positive catchment outcomes

Working together to achieve the best environmental outcomes was the primary focus of a recent meeting of New South Wales Environmental Water Advisory Group (EWAG) and Snowy Advisory Committee (SAC) chairs.

The chairs of the New South Wales Environmental Water Advisory Group  and the Snowy Advisory Committee.

Chairs from the Gwydir, Murrumbidgee, Macquarie-Cudgegong, Murray-Lower Darling and Snowy catchments met with Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) Environment and Heritage Group (EHG) staff to share their successes, discuss challenges, and explore opportunities within the NSW Government’s Water for the Environment Program. 

Acting Director Water for the Environment, Dr Julie-Anne Harty, said that EWAGs and the SAC perform an essential advisory function in environmental water delivery planning. 

“EWAGs and the SAC bring together a range of stakeholders with an interest in environmental water management in their catchment,” Dr Harty said. 

“They are a key forum for sharing perspectives and advice to EHG on environmental water delivery options and priorities each year.”

Coming together for the first time since COVID-19, the chairs embraced the opportunity to meet face-to-face. 

“The recent meeting was a chance for all EWAG chairs and the SAC chair to share their common experiences and unique insights and to identify future opportunities for knowledge sharing to build on each other’s experiences and strengths,” Dr Harty said.  

Dr Harty said the event was also an excellent opportunity for the EHG to hear about how it can better support EWAGs and the SAC. 

“It was clear from the outset that EWAG and SAC members and chairs share a passion and commitment to the environment and to the best use of environmental water to achieve ecological outcomes in their respective catchments,” Dr Harty said. 

“We identified opportunities for training and future learning and committed to sharing the work we all do more widely (including between EWAGs).  

“There was also a shared commitment to come together more often, both in person and virtually.” 

EWAG and SAC chairs met with members of the Department of Planning and Environment team.