It involves a series of initiatives aiming to improve water management as part of commitments within the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM) program.
The SDLAM program is being delivered by the NSW Government with funding provided by the Australian Government under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
The project aims to:
- create a community and government partnership
- maintain and improve flows
- keep the Yanco, Billabong, Forest and Colombo Creeks flowing
- be smart in the use of available water
- modernise ageing infrastructure
- ensure project benefits for irrigators, town water supplies, native fish, water birds, culture and heritage, and recreational use.
A range of options are being investigated to improve water management in the Yanco Creek System including:
- environmental water efficiency
- Billabong Creek re-regulation weirs
- Yanco Creek / Mundoora Anabranch reconfiguration
- Forest Creek return flows via Piccaninny Creek
- improved flow measurement
- review of irrigation escapes flows
- improved use of technology
- improved riparian management.
The NSW Government will continue to consult with communities on the proposed project to seek feedback on impacts, opportunities and work to address concerns. Learn more about the project and provide your feedback below.
The project focuses on delivering equivalent and/or improved environment outcomes through infrastructure and smarter use of water.
Some of the expected benefits in the Yanco, Billabong, Forest, Colombo Creeks and Murrumbidgee systems include:
- more efficient delivery of environmental water
- improved fish passage (e.g. new fish ladders)
- improved knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal cultural heritage
- improved connection to country by Traditional Owners
- an economic, training and employment boost during Yanco SDLAM programs for local communities
- improved levels of services (e.g. more flexible timing to irrigation scheduling)
- a reduced risk of further non-strategic water market purchases from the southern-connected basin to meet NSW Basin Plan commitments.
Many sub-projects within the Yanco Creek Modernisation Project are investigating the construction and restoration of fish passages between water bodies to enable native fish to safely bypass obstacles such as weirs and fish barriers. By re-establishing these travel corridors, species will have greater connectivity to habitat and breeding areas.
The Yanco Creek Modernisation Project is progressing the modernisation of infrastructure to enable smarter use of water in the Yanco Creek system – including Yanco, Billabong, Colombo and Forest Creeks.Download the project overview (.PDF 1,664KB)
The Yanco Creek Modernisation Project is currently completing the critical concept design phase. In addition to the delivery of a concept design, this project phase includes Basis of Design reports, preliminary procurement details, delivery and operational plans, and approvals processes for each of the project components.
Planning, assessment and modelling to inform these project activities is underway, and the draft concept designs are currently being reviewed by key stakeholders. Water Infrastructure NSW is also continuing consultation with private property owners potentially affected by the proposed works.
Billabong Creek scoping report now available
The Yanco Modernisation Project includes a proposal to replace four existing water regulators in Billabong Creek, at Hartwood, Piccaninny, Wanganella and Caroonboon weirs, with new regulators.
A scoping report regarding that proposal is now available on the NSW Government Major Projects website.
Water Infrastructure NSW will prepare a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will then be made available for public consultation and for community members to give their feedback.
The project will be managed collaboratively with relevant stakeholders across the Murray-Darling Basin in New South Wales.
A Stakeholder Advisory Group has been formed to guide the project decision-making process. It includes representatives from key stakeholder groups, local landholders and Traditional Owners.
We will provide ample opportunities for local communities and stakeholders to have their say on projects throughout their stages of development and delivery, and this feedback is used as a key input into project decision making. These opportunities will be listed on the project webpage and on our stakeholder engagement page.
Engagement with First Nations people
We recognise and acknowledge the unique relationship and deep Connection-to-Country First Nations people have as the Traditional Owners and first peoples of Australia.
The Yanco Creek system commences in the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri people and flows through Bangerang, Yorta Yorta, Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wamba traditional country. The project footprint boundaries lie within the four Local Aboriginal Lands Councils of Leeton, Narrandera, Cummeragunja and Deniliquin.
Ongoing access to water resources is essential so First Nations people can continue cultural practices and maintain their connection with the land and care for Country. We acknowledge there is much for us to learn from the perspectives, knowledge, relationships, cultural practices and environmental protocols that are alive and vibrant in First Nations communities today.
The wisdom and experience of local First Nations communities will play a critical role in informing our approach to the project and we have a dedicated engagement team who will guide our ongoing engagement with these First Nations communities.
In 2020, the department developed a long-term environmental plan to help monitor and measure the health of our waterways to protect the Yanco Creek system. Learn more.