The Goulburn Broken CMA, on behalf of the Consortium, is currently negotiating with funding bodies the potential for future funding rounds.
Round 5 of the Farm Water Program (funded through Tranche T2B of the Victorian Farm Modernisation Project) is being rolled out, with 98 projects being implemented. These projects will generate 13 GL of water savings, of which 7.4 GL of high reliability water shares will be transferred to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.
Whilst this has been occurring, an independent review of social and economic impacts of the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan was undertaken, as part of ensuring that ongoing implementation of the plan is providing balanced outcomes. In March 2017, DELWP published the finalised “Social and economic impacts of the Basin Plan” review.” A summary and full version of the report can be found at https://www.water.vic.gov.au/murray-darling-basin/social-and-economic-impacts-of-the-basin-plan-in-victoria
The review highlighted the need to deliver the Murray Darling Basin (MDB) Plan in a practical way which does not put further pressure on farming communities by implementing further wide-scale buybacks or otherwise reducing water availability for irrigators (including though the Farm Water Program).
DELWP is considering options for the remaining funds (of around $30 million) for the Victorian Farm Modernisation Project (VFMP) in light of the above study findings and progress on water recovered to-date for the MDB Plan through the various efficiency projects.
GB CMA in supporting the Farm Water Program consortium, is providing advice to DELWP on options for on-farm irrigation efficiency programs based on the current basin plan implementation, and supporting the resilience of regional irrigation communities.
It is expected that a decision on the future of the VFMP will be made by the State and Commonwealth governments around mid-2017.
In late March 2017, the GB CMA made a submission to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Inquiry into Water Use Efficiency. The submission reinforces several points in relation to water use efficiency on farms in the Goulburn Murray Water region (link is here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Standing_Committee_on_Agriculture_and_Water_Resources/Wateruseefficiency/Submissions ).
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