August 14, 2013
A new $100 million on-farm irrigation upgrade program announced by the Victorian and Commonwealth governments will save water for farmers and the environment across 54,000 hectares in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District.
The Victorian Farm Modernisation Projectis expected to deliver 53 gigalitres (GL) of water savings, with 30GL going to the environment.
In return for funding to upgrade on-farm irrigation systems, participating Goulburn-Murray irrigators will return 55 per cent of the water savings generated to the Commonwealth, helping to meet Victoria’s remaining commitment to return water to the environment under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
More than 761 GL of water that contributes to ‘bridging the gap’ to the sustainable diversion limits under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has already been secured from Victoria.
The Victorian Farm Modernisation Project is a prime example of what Victoria negotiated strongly for in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan – balancing the needs of irrigation communities and the environment.
It will provide funding to eligible irrigators to improve water efficiency on their farms.
Work eligible for funding may include laser grading, drainage water reuse systems, automation of irrigation systems, conversions to pressurised irrigation, and replacement of farm channels with pipes and risers.
The Project will align with the Goulburn-Murray Water Connections Project and be administered by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), on behalf of the Farm Water Program consortium.
There will be three opportunities between 2013 and 2019 for irrigators to apply for funding.