Up to 600 irrigators in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) will be surveyed over the next several weeks to help track changes in land and water use.
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Sustainable Irrigation Manager Carl Walters said shifts in water and planning policy, seasonal conditions and international markets had led to unprecedented changes to irrigated farming practices.
“The data collected during the Farm Irrigation Survey will be used to help analyse possible impacts and benefits of irrigation modernisation and Murray-Darling Basin Plan water recovery,” Mr Walters said.
The detailed survey will be posted to almost 600 irrigators (randomly selected based on water use licence) to gather information on topics including upgrades to farm irrigation infrastructure, water market behaviour and current water and land management practices.
Mr Walters urged selected irrigators to take the time to fill out the survey and return it.
“By participating they are contributing to data which records irrigators’ views on how land and water use is changing across the region,” he said.
“Organisations such as ours will use the findings to inform the development of 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.”
Mr Walters said the collated data would also provide a deeper understanding of how the irrigation community responds to changing pressures such as seasonal conditions and water availability.
The survey is being undertaken by the Goulburn Broken CMA, North Central CMA, Agriculture Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Murray Dairy.
It is expected results will be analysed by March 2021.