About the project
Water Infrastructure NSW is investigating two projects within the Yanco Creek system: the Yanco Creek Modernisation Project, and the Yanco Creek Offtake Project (YCOP). The Yanco Creek Offtake Project is investigating a suite of options to improve water management to help achieve the objectives of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Yanco Creek Offtake Project rescope
The NSW Government is are aware that when the community was first consulted about the YCOP there was strong opposition and clear concerns raised.
One of the key concerns is the potential impact a project may have on the regularity of baseflows within the Yanco Creek System.
Recognising this project has unique sensitivities and cannot be delivered in its current form by 2024, it is currently being rescoped.
Project rescoping underway
Over the last few months, the NSW Government has been working with the Yanco Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to develop options to achieve the project’s objectives and are likely to be supported by the community.
The project’s objective is to keep the Yanco, Billabong, Colombo and Forest Creeks flowing by enabling water to be better managed to match environmental water requirements. This should maintain, if not improve, flows across the Yanco Creek System.
There have been a range of options identified with stakeholders that could help achieve the objectives, preserve the baseflows while also preserving or improving conditions for the critical ecological and environmental areas throughout the system.
Over the next two months, the project team will continue to carry out the investigations and technical studies necessary to rescope the project. This will include extensive consultation with the community.
Will Yanco Creek be cut off from the Murrumbidgee?
There are no plans to cut off Yanco Creek from the Murrumbidgee River or stop water flowing to Colombo and Billabong. The proposed Yanco Creek regulator will assist in providing higher levels of service and control through the Yanco Creek system.
Has the Government assessed the risks associated with this proposal?
A preliminary risk assessment identified the potential impacts of the proposal as well as potential mitigation measures. Before we implement the proposed Project, the department is required to undertake comprehensive environmental and socio-economic impact studies, which includes extensive stakeholder engagement processes. The project will not be approved unless the department can demonstrate that potential impacts can be avoided or mitigated.
How do the proposed Yanco Creek projects relate to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan?
The Yanco Creek projects are part of a suite of “supply” projects submitted under the MDBP Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism. These projects allow environmental outcomes targeted in the Basin Plan to be achieved with less water. This means that more water can remain in the system for other users. Any potential inter-dependencies between supply measure projects under SDLAM can only be formally determined once a final package of supply measure projects (as constructed) is modelled by the MDBA.
Will other options be considered?
Changes to the business case proposals will be considered. Alternatives identified by stakeholders in addition to those already described in the business cases are currently being assessed using an options evaluation framework to determine the preferred set of options for implementation.