NRAR officers use the latest technology to select properties for inspection and collect evidence during inspections. This image shows an officer casting a depth sounder which assists determine the maximum depth of the dam.
NRAR officers use the latest technology to select properties for inspection and collect evidence during inspections. This image shows an officer casting a depth sounder which assists determine the maximum depth of the dam.

Water blitz reveals more oversized dams and illegal bores

AS the third phase of a water compliance blitz wraps up in the Coffs/Clarence region this month, the same problems are being detected.

The Natural Resource Access Regulator (NRAR) has just completed the third phase of its water compliance project on 19 farms from Bonville to Halfway Creek.

Diverse farms, in terms of size and crops, were visited. These included, farms that had blueberries, cucumbers, blackberries and raspberries.

"Preliminary results indicate that the same compliance issues found in Phases 1 and 2 were found in this phase - that is oversized dams, illegal use of bores, and approval holders not monitoring and recording their water take," an NRAR spokesperson said.

"The team is working through the enforcement responses with results to be made public this month."

Previous phases have uncovered a number of breaches.

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During previous phases of this campaign in May 2019 and February 2020, NRAR officers inspected 31 properties and found 28 to be allegedly non-compliant with NSW's water laws.

Trevor Veale

NRAR has been working with industry groups and stakeholders in the region to educate and improve compliance and attitudes to water laws, using industry newsletters, video and web-based conferencing.

Compliance with water take rules in the North Coast is a regulatory priority in response to public concern that has been received.

"We are encouraged by the swift response from many property owners who are now working toward becoming compliant, however more needs to be done" NRAR's Director Water Regulation (East) Graeme White said.

"Not complying with the water laws is unfair to your industry, other water users and communities and the environment."

RELATED: Berry group welcomes compliance to uncover water theft

To see the work NRAR does, go to its public register on the NRAR website industry.nsw.gov.au/nrar. Go to 'Reports and data', then 'NRAR Public Register'.

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.