The area’s coastal sands groundwater to be discussed

LOCAL farmers, industry groups and the wider community have the chance to comment on the draft North Coast Coastal Sands Water Sharing Plan for the area's coastal sands groundwater.

DPI Water Rural Water Manager, Lyndal Betterridge, encouraged locals to get involved and have their say.

"The draft North Coast Coastal Sands plan includes 14 groundwater sources, covering the entire length of the north coast of NSW and includes the townships of Newcastle, Foster/Tuncurry, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads," Ms Betterridge said.

"Groundwater plays an important role in providing water for the long-term security for local farming, industries, towns and the environment.

"The draft plan includes rules for protecting the environment, managing water extraction and facilitating water trading."

Ms Betterridge said the plan, once finalised, would be legally binding for ten years, giving security and certainty for water users and the environment.

"As water use in many of the coastal sands aquifers is well below the sustainable limit, water will be made available in the future for additional extraction," she said.

"The NSW government, rural landholders and the community all recognise that we need to ensure groundwater management is sustainable.

"This water sharing plan is an important step in that direction."

The draft North Coast coastal sands water sharing plan is on public exhibition from January 8 until February 22 and may be viewed at or at your local council chambers.

Submissions must be received by COB Monday February 22.

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