Review and Amendment of the Mersey Water Management Plan

​​​​​​​Backgro​und

The current Mersey Water Management Plan was adopted in 2005.

The Plan sets out the framework for managing the water resources in the Mersey Water Management Plan Area, in accordance with the Water Management Act 1999, to ensure that water resources in the Plan area are managed to optimise its benefits for a range of users, including the community, the environment and commercial users.​

DPIPWE has commenced a review of the Water Management Plan so that we manage water better and plan for the future.

Review and Amendment Process

The review and amendment of the Plan is being undertaken according to Section 34 of the Water Management Act 1999. Information on the process to review and amend the Plan is provided in the Water Management Planning Guiding Principles for the Development of Statutory Water Management Plans and involves statutory requirements for public consultation.

The review of the Plan will be conducted in consultation with the key stakeholders through the Mersey Water Management Plan Consultative Group.

The Consultative Group has been re-established to provide DPIPWE with a balanced range of views, local knowledge, advice and feedback from key stakeholders on matters relating to the review and amendment of the Plan. 

The Consultative Group will have preliminary input to support the DPIPWE to draft amendments to the Plan (prior to their release for formal public feedback).  Stakeholder input through the plan drafting and feedback stages will support development of a Plan that best meet the needs of local water users and recognise water resource complexities for the area.​

The Consultative Group consists of the following members and stakeholder groups.

​​Member
Organisation
Marie Egerrup
Hydro Tasmania
Paul MiddletonInland Fisheries Service
Brett Perkins
​Mersey Irrigators Group
​​Iona Flett
​​Cradle Coast Authority NRM
​David Skipper
​Tasmanian Irrigation
​Nathan Richardson
​Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association
​Nick Cramp
​Tributary water licence holder
​​John Borojevic
​Anglers Alliance Tasmania
​David Addison
​Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group

Trial of changes to Water Management in the Mersey River catchment from November 2020 to April 2021

There have been three meetings of the Mersey River Water Management Plan Review Consultative Group. At the third meeting in early September 2020, Hydro Tasmania outlined a proposal to trial a constant environmental release of 160 ML/day from Lake Parangana for the 2020/21 irrigation season.

The key driver for the proposed trial comes from Hydro Tasmania undertaking strategic analysis and consideration of a range of operational changes and improvements to releases from Lake Parangana. DPIPWE has been liaising closely with Hydro Tasmania, the Mersey Irrigators Group and Tasmanian Irrigation to refine the details of the proposed trial. The Trial of changes to Water Management in the Mersey River catchment from November 2020 to April 2021 outlines the proposed trial for the 2020/21 irrigation season.

The key elements of the trial and changed water management arrangements scheduled to start on 1 November 2020 are:

  1. A constant environmental release of 160 ML/day from Lake Parangana by Hydro Tasmania and measurement of the flow release at the dam outlet (as opposed to the Liena gauge) for a period of 12 months. 

  2. A revised approach to applying the cease-to-take when inflows to Lake Parangana fall below 173 ML/day as measured at the Arm River stream flow gauging station.

  3.  A four-stage restriction protocol above the cease-to-take for water licence holders who use water for commercial purposes. The trial four-stage restriction protocol will be introduced from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021.


The aim of the trial is to consider specific water management arrangements that potentially deliver improved: hydro-electricity generation; irrigation development and water access; and environmental and social benefits during low flow periods. The learnings from the trial will enhance water management planning outcomes.

DPIPWE will be seeking stakeholder feedback towards the end of the summer irrigation season as part of its monitoring and evaluation of the trial. The findings from the trial and how it has worked for all parties will feed into the Mersey Water Management Plan review. 

If you would like further information, please contact a member of the Consultative Group that best represents your interests. For further information, or to be put in touch with a representative on the Consultative Group please contact Sara Naylor on 03 677 2243 or Sara.Naylor@dpipwe.tas.gov.au.


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