Lachlan water management among the best in regional NSW

The Lachlan Valley's water security situation is among the best in regional NSW despite the enduring drought.

That's the view of  WaterNSW according to spokesman Tony Webber.

Mr Webber said this week with Wyangala Dam sitting at almost 34% of storage capacity, "despite the enduring drought, the water security situation in the Lachlan valley remains among the best in regional NSW".

On January 7 this year the water level at Wyangala Dam was sitting at 41 per cent of capacity. It has since fallen around one per cent each week to its current level.

Releases for irrigation and environmental flows have fallen in line with the end of summer and reduced demand.

"Releases have reduced from a Summer peak of 3,600 megalitres per day (ML/day) to the current rate of 850 (ML/day) as downstream irrigation and environmental demand declines," Mr Webber explained.

The water level at Wyangala Dam continues to fall.

The water level at Wyangala Dam continues to fall.

"Lake Cargelligo is currently 86% and will be drawn down to meet demand in the Lower Lachlan to around 50% of storage capacity by the end of March 2019."

As for future releases if the drought continues to worsen Mr Webber said "all water released from WaterNSW dams is to provide for extractive use by licence holders, basic landholder rights, or the environment, as stipulated in each valley’s water sharing plan rules, which are set by the NSW Government.

"WaterNSW does not release water on a discretionary basis," he said.

"Should drought conditions continue to restrict inflows in the Lachlan Valley, the NSW Government’s Department of Industry (Water) will likely introduce drought measures as has been the case in other drought-affected valleys such as the Namoi and Macquarie."

Communities downstream of Cowra are already under water restrictions. Cowra Shire Council continues to allow residents full water access.

"Urban water restrictions are a matter for the local provider of potable supply, usually local government," Mr Webber said when asked if WaterNSW provided any advice to councils on water restrictions.