“The first flush event achieved some wonderful outcomes for [the] environment and communities in need”, found the Independent Panel Assessment of the Management of the 2020 Northern Basin First Flush Event released today.
“We hope the outcomes of the Independent Assessment can improve the management of first flush events following extreme droughts into the future”, said NSW Irrigators’ Council interim CEO Claire Miller.
“These events need to be embedded in the regulatory framework, so everyone has the certainty and transparency of how exactly these events will be managed.”
“If we can tighten the way water is managed coming out of extreme droughts, we can hopefully achieve better outcomes across the entire system in future.”
The Report importantly highlighted that managing such events will “have to be reflective of and responsive to the ephemeral and intermittent flow nature of the rivers in the Northern Basin”.
“Realistically, the main reason why town water supply and environmental conditions improved, was because it rained, and there was actually water in the system to manage.”
“Managing these events must be pragmatic and scientific, there should be no one left guessing.”
“With a changing climate showing droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, we must get better at managing these extreme events.”
Government now has a practical and informed roadmap forward to better manage these important events into the future.