Irrigators in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys can continue to have confidence in flows from Snowy Hydro even after the completion of the Snowy 2.0 project.
NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey used Snowy Hydro Limited’s appearance before the Senate Environment and Communications Committee during this week’s estimates to elicit further details about the company’s water release activities, now and into the future.
“In addition to its core business of maintaining the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme and electricity generation and retailing, Snowy Hydro plays an important role in water storage and diverting water for irrigation from the Snowy Mountains catchment to the Murray and Murrumbidgee River systems,” Senator Davey said.
“Senate Estimates provided me with an opportunity to question Snowy Hydro’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Broad, about the company’s water storage functions and how the company is supporting irrigators in my home region,” she said.
“I was very pleased to hear that as communities in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys continue to experience devastating drought, Snowy Hydro is maintaining a strong focus on getting water out to our irrigations and is currently making up between 30 and 60 per cent of flows in those river systems today.
“While the drought has resulted in the company having less water available for release, Snowy Hydro still meets its required releases while also utilising pumped capability for power generation.”
Senator Davey obtained assurances that the Snowy 2.0 expansion project will not impact on irrigators in the Murray and Murrumbidgee River systems.
“Farmers in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys have expressed concerns that Snowy Hydro 2.0 may have a negative impact on our communities in southern NSW, but Mr Broad outlined that the project will not affect the company’s required annual water releases or lead to any reduction in those releases,” she said.
“Snowy Hydro has already undertaken significant consultation in the Murray and Murrumbidgee irrigations areas with respect to Snowy 2.0, and I am pleased that Mr Broad confirmed that the company will be undertaking further consultation with irrigators to ensure that they understand the project and have access to the right information.”