Land and water use in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) is continuing to change according to the latest data collected in a series of spatial mapping and irrigation surveys.
The 2021/22 irrigation season GMID Land and Water Use Mapping and Farm Irrigation Surveys were compiled as part of the Regional Irrigated Land and Water Use Mapping Program.
The results revealed the dairy industry accounted for 45 per cent of water use, compared with the next biggest consumer, cropping with 28 per cent.
The Goulburn Broken CMA’s Carl Walters said the collated data provided a deeper understanding of how the irrigation community responded to changing pressures such as seasonal conditions and water availability.
“We would like to thank all of the irrigators who completed the survey, it’s a really important record of irrigators’ views on how land and water use is changing across the region,” he said.
“Organisations such as ours will use the findings to develop projects which benefit the irrigation community.
“The information will also be used to inform the sustainable irrigation program, extension services, regional development and land and water policy objectives.”
He said it was pleasing to see an increase in the willingness of landowners to manage environmental issues on their farm.
It showed 86 per cent of farmers were keen to fence off remnant vegetation, create corridors and protect dams, creeks, wetlands and waterways.
“Each survey this figure steadily increases which further highlights that irrigators place a high value on a healthy environment.”
The findings will be added to a data dashboard which has been developed by the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action (DEECA).
The dashboard enables the public to view land use at varying scales and by industry types dating back to the 2015/16 irrigation season.
Survey and mapping results can be found at www.gbcma.vic.gov.au/our-region/sustainable_irrigation/land-and-water-use-mapping
The project was undertaken in partnership between the Goulburn Broken CMA, Agriculture Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water, DEECA, North Central CMA and Murray Dairy.