Rivers and wetlands in NSW are under critical stress due to a history of unsustainable water extraction. The Murray Darling Basin has lost 90% of its wetlands and native fish populations, and 80% of its waterbird populations and River Red Gums.
In light of this, the Murray Darling Basin Plan provides an opportunity to secure the long‐term future health of the Basin through reducing consumptive water use in the Murray Darling Basin. The NSW government has an important implementation role and must cooperate with the Federal government to achieve a healthy river system for its dependant communities and environment.
Coal and gas extraction are increasingly posing threats to surface and groundwater flows in rural and regional NSW. The impact of climate change will only further exacerbate the situation and increase the degradation.Commitment to water reform in NSW is necessary to conserve ecosystem health and the biodiversity of our rivers and wetlands in the face of new and emerging threats.
The NSW community is looking to move past archaic forms of water management. This is exemplified through the breadth and depth of community and industry opposition to the Tillegra Dam proposal – a dam that threatens to destroy the Williams River, the internationally recognised Hunter Estuary wetlands and the flow dependant local fishing and prawning industries.