Regulator investigates allegations of water misuse

Operation Orange Falcon.
Operation Orange Falcon.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator has investigated 15 alleged breaches of water law in the Forbes, Cowra and Canowindra region.

Operation Orange Falcon was in the area this month as part of investigations across the Murray Darling Basin.

While no offences were detected in relation to four of the alleged local breaches, a formal warning was issued in relation to another.

NRAR's Director Regional Water Regulation, Graeme White, said the remaining 10 alleged breaches were under active investigation.

"The fact the state is struggling through one of the worst droughts on record means that ensuring fair access to water for regional communities, water users and the environment is even more critical," he said.

"In times of scarce supply every drop counts. NRAR's role in ensuring compliance with water laws is more important than ever and we will continue to have boots on the ground in key areas."

Water take, controlled activities and floodworks were the main allegations investigated in Operation Orange Eagle with 16 officers travelling more than 9000km, visiting 46 locations across the state's central west.

Mr White said the NRAR had never hesitated to employ strong regulatory responses where appropriate.

"The NRAR's regulatory priorities and are designed not only to detect instances of non-compliance but to prevent it as well by ensuring water users are aware of their obligations for accessing and using water," he said.

Operation Orange Falcon is just the latest campaign for NRAR, with targeted operations underway in the Coffs Harbour, Hawkesbury and Peel River areas as well.

NRAR's investigators and compliance officers travel all over the state's 57 water sharing plan areas, inspecting properties and assessing compliance with water users' licences and the Water Management Act 2000.

To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, contact the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 or email nrar.enquiries@nrar.nsw.gov.au. For more information about NRAR and what it does, visit industry.nsw.gov.au/nrar.

To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, contact the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 or email nrar.enquiries@nrar.nsw.gov.au.