Water management plan being reviewed

Dams such as this one in Ourimbah Creek are now banned

A ban placed on river dams within the Ourimbah Creek and Jilliby Jilliby Creek water sources is just one aspect of water management on the Central Coast being reviewed by the NSW Government.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is undertaking public consultation on the proposed rules that will apply to water management and operation of water licences.

The temporary ban on dams will last for up to two years or until the water sharing plan for the Central Coast Unregulated Water Sources 2009 is replaced, which is expected to be by July 1, 2021.

DPIE Executive Director, Policy, Planning and Sciences, Emma Solomon, said the ban would apply to all approvals for a dam within a higher stream in the catchments of Ourimbah and Jilliby Jilliby Creeks.

“A risk assessment recently completed by the DPIE identified that Jilliby Jilliby Creek and Ourimbah Creek water sources have very high environmental values that are at high risk from extraction in these catchments,” Solomon said.

“This prohibition exists in the other surface water sources within the Central Coast area and this ban brings Jilliby Jilliby Creek and Ourimbah Creek in line with those other water sources.”

The permanency of this restriction will be discussed during the public exhibition phase of the replacement Water Sharing Plan for the Central Coast Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sharing Plan with is due to close on Sunday, January 31

Water sharing plans are subject to review every 10 years under the Water Management Act 2000 and the current Central Coast plan is nearing expiry, with the new one to take effect from July 1, 2021.

Sue Murray