AFTER years of drought, above average December rainfall figures have resulted in some healthy flows into the Namoi catchment.
This is good news for landholders along the Namoi River with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's (DPIE) significantly increasing allocations for the current water year.
The DPIE's January 13 water allocation statement allows Upper Namoi general security allocation to increase by 50 per cent resulting in 100 per cent allocation.
The Lower Namoi general security allocation will also increase by 23.7 per cent, bringing it to 31.7 per cent allocation.
The DPIE states that all other categories of licence in the Upper and Lower Namoi Regulated River Water Source have full allocation and remain unchanged.
"During December, the catchment experienced very high rainfall, receiving approximately 100 to 300 mm with net inflow into the headwater storages during this period was approximately 26.6 gigalitres (GL) for Split Rock Dam and 67.1 GL for Keepit Dam," the DPIE wrote.
"Downstream tributary flows during December were approximately 47 GL. During the month, the storage volumes increased by 26.4 GL and 56.2 GL for Split Rock Dam and Keepit Dam, respectively.
"The system has returned to normal operations and order on-demand is available for both the Upper and Lower Namoi."
Due to the increased storage volume and river flows returning to normal, drought criticality levels for the Upper and Lower Namoi have been downgraded from Stage 2 (recovering) to Stage 1 (normal operations).
As of January 11, Split Rock Dam sits at 12.6 per cent full and Keepit Dam is 43.6 per cent full, at the same time last month Keepit Dam sat at 26 per cent.
The future rainfall forecast also looks bright and with La Nina nearing its peak the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting above average rainfall across the catchment for January and March.