Farmers will be able to store up to 30% more water for domestic and stock use and agriculture.
The tripling of harvestable rights by the State Government is a big jump from the previous policy of farmers being able to store only one tenth of the rain that falls on their properties.
To balance this with the needs of the environment and downstream water users, water use will be restricted to domestic, stock and some agriculture uses, and farm dams will still only be allowed on first or second order streams.
State MP Chris Gulaptis said during the 2019/20 bushfire season despite being in high rainfall areas, firefighters were unable to source water from nearby locations, which simply wasn’t good enough.
“Make no mistake, this is a big deal, these common sense changes will improve water security for property owners and slash the bushfire in our communities,” he said.
Minister for Water Melinda Pavey said to prepare for future droughts, landholders need be able to capture water during wet periods to get them through those very tough, dry times.
“By holding more water in the wetter years, producers will be able to get through longer droughts and retain their staff growing the food from these regions,” Mrs Pavey said.