RFS issues notice over water replacement
BUSHFIRES can exacerbate problems in drought as valuable resources are used to fight fires, but some landowners can have water replaced.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued an alert to landowners warning of the possibility of drawing water from private property to protect life and property.
But in a time of prolonged drought the RFS said water taken from properties could be replaced after consultation with the Department of Primary Industries through the NSW Government's Disaster Assistance Scheme.
Livestock owners, crop and produce owners would have to have met the following criteria to be considered for a water replacement.
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"Water was taken to suppress a fire or land owners experienced an infrastructure failure as a result of bushfire," the statement read.
"The water taken significantly impacts the land owner's ability to ensure the sufficient water for livestock and agricultural purposes (eg. vineyards, horticulture)."
The assessments would consider the amount of water taken, that it was taken for firefighting purposes and the availability of alternate water sources as well as other factors.
If landowners were approved for water replenishment the RFS stated it may be replaced in stages "to assist in maintaining the welfare of livestock/animals and continue production, but will not exceed the total amount of water taken."
Affected landowners are being encouraged to contact the Department of Primary Industries or North Coast Local Land Services for more information.