NSW Irrigators’ Council Key Positions:

Basin Plan

NSWIC supports a measured implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for stability.


Property Rights

Water Access Licences are a property right – water property rights (including accessibility, reliability and their fundamental characteristics) must be protected regardless of ownership.



It is a core principle of NSWIC that environmental health and sustainable resource access is integral to a successful irrigation industry. Irrigation farmers in NSW and Australia are world leaders in water-efficient production with high ethical and environmental standards. Government must work with irrigation farmers to respond and adapt to a changing climate of water availability. All water, including environmental water, must be used most effectively and efficiently, with the measure of success remaining focused on achieving improved ecological outcomes.


Floodplain Harvesting

The NSW Irrigators Council is supportive of the need to bring the legitimate historical floodplain harvesting access into the current regulatory framework by converting a descriptive take licensed under NSW Water Act 1912 into a volumetric license consistent with the NSW Water Management Act 2000.

The NSWIC agree that with all water available to irrigators and the river system limited, licensing of floodplain flows must demonstrate ‘no more or no less’ take and provide tools to better measure and monitor floodplain take to ensure overall usage remains within described limits, as set out in water sharing plans and the Basin Plan.


Metering, Monitoring & Measuring

NSWIC supports the continued improvement of Metering, Monitoring & Measurement actions for all water users across the state. If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed. It is a key principle of NSWIC that – All water (agricultural, environment, cultural and industrial) must be measured, and used efficiently and effectively.


Socio-economic Assessment

Water reforms have serious impacts on rural communities. It is crucial that socio-economic impacts are understood, and included in decision-making. Evidence-based policy is essential for best practice policy.


Water Pricing

Pricing determinations must be transparent, with cost shares appropriately allocated. The general public must recognise that water users fund vital programs for our river systems, including environmental projects, water quality monitoring and flood management.


Water Markets

The water market must foster confidence from all water users by being transparent, simple to use, based on well-informed price data and sound reporting. 


River Operations

River systems must be managed most efficiently to minimise operational losses and maintain reliability and accessibility to all water users, whilst respecting the physical capacity and needs of the river system.


Water Resource Plans & Water Sharing Plans

Water management must be evidence-based, with review mechanisms, to ensure best-available data can inform best-practice policy through adaptive process. Irrigation farmers are stewards of tremendous knowledge in water management, and extensive consultation is needed to utilise this knowledge.



Government must invest in reliable, efficient and cost-effective energy solutions.


Mining & CSG

The preservation of sustainable resources for agriculture – including water – must be absolute in addressing mining exploration or operational licence applications.
NSWIC advocates a strict “no regrets” approach to the licencing of both exploration and operations in mining in respect of water sources.



Clear policy to manage coastal water sources fairly is imperative to the success of existing and further development within coastal regions. There is a need for Coastal water management to be treated separately to inland water management.


NSWIC Guiding Principles   HERE

NSWIC 2019-2024 NSWIC Strategic Plan   HERE