Plans for the plains: the fight over harvesting floodwater in NSW is about to get real

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The state is on the cusp of granting $2bn or more in licences, but has no way of measuring how much water will be returned to parched river systems

In the next week or two, the NSW government will reveal how many floodplain harvesting licences it intends to grant in the Gwydir valley, home to some of the biggest cotton producers in the country.

It’s the next chapter in a process that will grant between $2bn and $4bn in water entitlements to farmers as part of a plan to control and regularise a practice that captures billions of litres of water for irrigation during high-rainfall events.

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