Yenda almond grower Paul Rossetto has welcomed the Almond Board of Australia's call for NSW to impose a moratorium on new horticulture developments.
Mr Rossetto, who has been farming almonds for 14 years in east Yenda, says the industry is growing in the MIA but given a single almond hectare requires over 12 million litres of water, a moratorium makes sense.
"If your talking irrigation they have to do it because it's physically impossible to get more water through the choke," Mr Rossetto said.
"It's logical, rather than people spending all their resources to plant orchards and then having a drought set in.
"If you can't supply the water, that ruins everything."
"I'm glad the almond board has pointed this out but what we need is the government to back it up," Mr Rossetto said.
But with the issue of water having proving contentions in recent times, he isn't sure it will be a priority for the government.
"It's a voluntary thing; the government is loathed to make things mandatory," he said.
"The industry will continue to grow - this area has huge potential but that's provided growers can afford the water allocations."
Meanwhile with almond harvest underway, he says the results have so far been patchy, with several wet seasons beginning to compromise tree health.
"I'm seeing some evidence of trunk diseases emerging to do with excessive water in the soil," he said.
"In saying that, I've noticed the Americans are coping it a lot worse, with 10 to 15 per cent trunk disease in almonds whereas we're at about five per cent," Mr Rossetto said.
Nationally it's estimated 164,700 tonnes (kernel weight equivalent) will be produced this harvest according to the Almond Board of Australia.
The figure is almost 60 per cent higher than the 2023 harvest, which was affected by poor weather conditions.
ABA CEO Tim Jackson said official data for the closing two months of the 2023-24 season is expected to push annual sales volume close to the previous year's record of 129,424 tonnes despite a dramatic downturn in production.
In November, the board announced its extreme disappointment over the Senate vote to support the Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill.
"Buybacks will cause hardship in Basin communities, but this move will also be noticed by all Australians when they visit the supermarket and their groceries cost more," Mr Jackson said.
"It's essential we have healthy rivers and there are many ways this can been achieved, yet more water buybacks is seen by the government as the quickest and easiest way to get things done."