Significant water events
- Colo River at Upper Colo in the Hawkesbury–Nepean catchment
- Shoalhaven River at Fossickers Flat in the Shoalhaven catchment.
The two river locations were selected for the following reasons:
- long-term flow data are available
- flows upstream of both river locations are unregulated and diversions are negligible
- both are major rivers in terms of flow volumes.
Streamflow in these two rivers mainly varied from average to above average flows throughout the year. Very much above average flows were experienced in the Colo River in January, and the Shoalhaven River in December. This was a result of large volumes of rainfall during November and December. See the Climate overview for further details of climatic conditions experienced in the region during 2010–11.
Figure W1. Graph of total monthly flow along the Colo River during 2010–11 compared with long-term percentiles
Figure W2. Graph of total monthly flow along the Shoalhaven River during 2010–11 compared with long-term percentiles
Major water initiatives
Water sharing plans are progressively developed for rivers and groundwater systems across New South Wales following the introduction of the Water Management Act 2000 (New South Wales).
Water sharing plans bring water users, still operating under the Water Act 1912 (New South Wales), into the one licensing system managed under the Water Management Act 2000 (New South Wales) and set the rules for how water is allocated for the next ten years.
Once a water sharing plan is approved, the NSW Office of Water (NoW) may establish an implementation program under the Water Management Act 2000 (New South Wales) for relevant areas.
The draft plans for both unregulated river water sources and groundwater sources were on public exhibition from 7 June to 30 July 2010 except for the Kangaroo River water source. The Water Sharing Plan for Greater Metropolitan Region unregulated river water sources and the Water Sharing Plan for the Greater Metropolitan Region groundwater sources both commenced on 1 July 2011 and can be accessed from the NoW website.
Approved Water Sharing Plan for the Kangaroo River Water Source was implemented in July 2004.
In May 2009, the Australian Government announced $77.4 million of funding for the Hawkesbury–Nepean River Recovery Package. The program aims to improve river health by making more water available for environmental flows and reducing nutrient inputs to the river system.
Seven project components are underway which include:
- Nutrient smart management
- Improving Hawkesbury–Nepean water balance accounting
- Irrigation and landscape efficiency project
- Licence purchase
- Water smart farms
- Hawkesbury City Council Windsor effluent reuse system
- Nutrient reduction and monitoring.
Further details of the program can be found at Hawkesbury-Nepean River Recovery Package.