Farmers-irrigators are frustrated by the NSW government's cuts to coastal water rights ahead of an expected drought. The state government has reversed a decision by the former coalition government and will return the harvestable rights limit in coastal-draining catchments to 10 per cent, a decrease from the previous 30 per cent limit introduced in May 2022.
Water Minister Rose Jackson said the previous policy was not backed up by science. "It was not based on expert advice, it was not ecologically sound, and it was putting at risk some of our really vulnerable water sources along the coast. We're now going to do the work to assess what the catchment-by-catchment assessment level should be, so that we can make sure, as we enter into drying conditions, we're not putting more stress on our water sources."