Wheat

Round 2 Farm Water Program projects get the green light

Monday 26 March, 2012
More than 150 on-farm irrigation projects have been given the green light through Round 2 of the Farm Water Program.

More than 150 on-farm irrigation projects have been given the green light through Round 2 of the Farm Water Program.

In October 2011, a consortium of Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) organisations, led by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), received in-principle approval for $43 million of funding from the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) through its On-farm State Priority Project initiative.

This is in addition to some $62 million already captured for local irrigators by the consortium through the Farm Water Program. The Farm Water Program is delivered to irrigators to help them achieve farm water savings through improved farm irrigation systems. The water savings are shared between farmers and the environment, with at least half the water transferred to the Australian Government for environmental purposes.

Goulburn Broken CMA CEO Chris Norman said the program had proved to be incredibly popular with irrigators.

“Irrigators are attracted to the scheme because of its dual benefits: the funding helps irrigators in the region improve their on-farm water-use efficiency and at least half the water saved as a result of these works is returned to the environment to boost river health,” Mr Norman said.

More than 21GL of water savings will be generated from the approved on-farm projects, with 10.5GL of water transferred to the Australian Government (or 10.1 GL of long term cap equivalent), who fund the On-farm State Priority Project.

On-farm works to be carried out by irrigators include installation of fast flow systems, pressurised systems and pipe and risers, automation, and laser grading.

“The on-farm works complement the $2 billion modernisation work being carried out by Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project to upgrade the GMID’s irrigation delivery system,” Mr Norman said.

“These two initiatives not only benefit farmers and the environment, they are great for our regional communities.

“As well as making farms more productive and returning water to the environment, the program boosts rural communities and local businesses by creating jobs in sectors such as earthmoving and irrigation design and planning.”

For more information on the Farm Water Program, please visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au

MEDIA CONTACT: Phone Farm Water Program Communications Officer Fiona Lloyd on 0407875376 or email fional@gbcma.vic.gov.au