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The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment released the drafts of Regional Water Strategies for the Murray and Murrumbidgee and is at the next stage of community feedback. 

New South Wales Executive Director of Strategy and Policy, Kaia Hodge, said the draft strategies outline options for securing water in the region over the next 20 years and beyond, which will support farmers, Aboriginal people, towns, the environment, and help the economy grow.

The department has called the twelve draft water strategies critical for informing future water planning and infrastructure needs in the regions.

“The draft strategies put forward a wide range of potential solutions to address the region’s water-related challenges and support environmental, social, cultural, and economic outcomes,” Ms Hodge said. 

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment has undertaken extensive work to build and integrate new, state-of-the-art hydrological modelling and new climate data as critical components of the drafts as both waterways are complex systems. 

Ms Hodge said the agricultural and tourism sectors are significant drivers of the combined $25.5 billion a year economy, producing food, and fibre for the state, and drawing visitors to world-class attractions. Both sectors provide jobs for the region and grow the regional economy. 

The Murray and Murrumbidgee include 22 nationally important wetlands, four of which are Ramsar-listed. 

“Water is for everyone, and we are ensuring our water management policies support the future of the Murray, Murrumbidgee, and all of New South Wales,” Ms Hodge said. 

“It’s vital we work together with the community to plan for the future and protect our precious resources,”

The twelve regional Murray and Murrumbidgee drafts will be on display from 11 April to 22 May. Stakeholders and the wider community have the opportunity to attend webinars or face-to-face consultation sessions, and provide their feedback.

Both waterways have their own further information and links to feedback registrations that can be found here: Murray Regional Water Strategy and Murrumbidgee Regional Water Strategy.

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