Water sharing plan needs to be flexible: Tamworth MP
One of the region's leaders is calling for the next decade's water rules to be more flexible. Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said he has been in discussions to see the proposed water sharing plan altered to become more flexible. He added that the plan governs the rules for all of NSW as the rivers connect, but each city and town in the state has different requirements. "We have come through probably the worst drought on record, and we have had rain around the Tamworth region, but nowhere near enough in the catchment," Mr Anderson said. "What we are seeing is Tamworth city still on level five water restrictions. "The water sharing plan needs to be nimble. It needs to be flexible and we need to be able to change it to meet the unique circumstances that we find ourselves in." Mr Anderson said he has been meeting with council on a regular basis to secure water for the city. The first instance was in securing the pipeline from Chaffey Dam to ensure that the water could be transferred directly to the city. "The water in Chaffey Dam needs to be held there as long as possible for our communities," Mr Anderson added. "What we are asking for is that the environmental flows - being released out of Chaffey Dam during this very dry period - to be stopped. "There is enough flow in the Peel River at the moment, so the environment is getting a drink and we want the remaining water in Chaffey Dam - about 13 per cent - to be reserved for human consumption." Mr Anderson said he had been in contact with the Minister for Water, Melinda Pavey, since November. "We are trying to work on a solution going forward," he said.