The Lachlan River is located within the Murray-Darling drainage division in central New South Wales. Although the complete Lachlan River catchment includes regulated and unregulated areas, only the regulated area was assessed for the water balance.
The Lachlan River is a tributary of the Murrumbidgee River, which in turn is a tributary of the Murray River. It should be noted that the Lachlan only contributes flows to the Murrumbidgee in flood times and flows are generally not significant unless it is a major flood. The Lachlan River has several tributaries itself, including the Abercrombie and Belubula Rivers.
About 13% of irrigation within the Lachlan River – Regulated WMA is carried out in the Jemalong Irrigation District [http://jemalongirrigation.com.au/index.html], the majority of irrigation in the WMA is private irrigation (i.e. not delivered by an irrigation authority).
The primary water storage in the WMA is Wyangala Dam and there are 4 additional major storages (above 1,000 ML in capacity), including Carcoar Dam. Two of these major storages, Lake Brewster and Lake Cargelligo, are major off-stream storages. There are a large number of groundwater bores in the catchment with a large proportion of water sourced from self-extracted groundwater. Major towns in the area include Cowra, Forbes and Condobolin.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the licensing authority and manages both surface and groundwater diversions for urban, commercial/industrial, irrigation and environmental purposes. The Lachlan CMA is responsible for managing the native vegetation, soil and other natural resources in the catchment in conjunction with the community, local government, industry and State Government. State Water [http://www.statewater.com.au] manages the major water supply storages in New South Wales and supplies bulk water to the irrigation authorities, town water supply authorities, mines, electricity generators and other industry by releasing water from its dams into rivers to be accessed by downstream water users. State Water also delivers water for private irrigators and stock and domestic users and is responsible for delivering environmental flows, in accordance with rules as set out in NSW Water Sharing Plans, on regulated rivers in the state. Local councils treat the bulk water and deliver it to urban users in the major towns within the catchment as well as managing the wastewater collection and treatment network (e.g. Cowra Shire Council.)
Figure 1 Lachlan River - Regulated water management area locality map
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Lachlan River - Regulated water management area locality map (1.2 Meg)
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Related Water Management Areas
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