Joint media release: New water monitoring stations big win for the Northern Basin

17 December 2021

Minister for Resources and Water, the Hon Keith Pitt MP
Member for Parkes, the Hon Mark Coulton MP
New South Wales Minister for Water, Property and Housing, the Hon Melinda Pavey MO

Twenty new or upgraded gauging stations located in the Darling, Macquarie, Culgoa, Gwydir, Border Rivers, and Namoi catchments will be installed across New South Wales thanks to a joint Australian and NSW Government-funded project. 

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said the gauge installation was funded through the $35 million Murray–Darling Basin Enhanced Water Monitoring and Information (EWMI) program. 

“The Australian Government has a strong commitment to improving the transparency, consistency and accessibility of water information in the Basin to make sure every drop of water counts,” Mr Pitt said. 

“Five new or upgraded stations are expected to be installed and operational by June next year, with a further 15 sites to be built or upgraded by the end of 2023. 

“Most importantly these gauging stations fill in the gaps and deliver better data for farmers, water users and Basin Communities that live and breathe our rivers and floodplains. 

“These improved gauges mean we can provide live information on the volume of flows coming down rivers, and the possible impacts these will have on people’s property.” 

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said as part the project the NSW Government will be adding to the state’s already robust network of more than 500 gauging stations, enhancing its ability to collect critical data and account for water in NSW.

“The sites will strengthen the current network in providing invaluable water information including stream and storage flow and volume, groundwater level, water quality and rainfall data, and real-time telemetry,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Science underpins the entirety of the work we do to manage water, our most precious resource, for communities and the environment across the state. 

“These new and upgraded gauging stations are a big win for the Basin. The data they’ll collect will help us better understand river connectivity and prepare our regions against drought. 

“The data will help us make decisions on how best to share water, it’ll inform how we actively manage water take, and it will help us with compliance and enforcement, because water must be used fairly and according to the rules.”

Member for Parkes, the Hon Mark Coulton MP said this investment in new and upgraded river gauges will provide a boost to the local economy, as well as enhanced knowledge of our rivers.

“Water is a precious resource for our Basin communities and their farmers, which is why it’s vital governments continue to invest in collecting and analysing water data so informed decisions can made,” Mr Coulton said.  

The Australian Government will invest $1.05 million to install up to 20 new or upgraded stations over the next two years under the Enhanced Water Monitoring and Information (EWMI) program. The NSW Government will invest a further $244,000 per year from 2022-2023 for their ongoing operation. 

For more information, and to read the Murray Darling Catchments-Surface Water and Storage Network Review and the Hydrometric Improvement Plan, visit the website here