Water Matters - Issue 27
Infrastructure programs continue to yield water savings
The water savings are adding up as farmers and communities continue to make better use of water with Australian Government support.
The Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program is investing $5.2 billion in rural water use, management and efficiency in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Infrastructure projects involving major modernisation works for irrigation districts and hundreds of individual farms are under way across the Basin. These projects are a win-win for farmers, regional communities and the environment.
Most of the investment is focused on modernising and upgrading irrigation infrastructure to reduce water losses and enhance productivity.
The water savings achieved through this program are making substantial progress towards 'bridging the gap' to the new Sustainable Diversion Limits under the Basin Plan. As at 31 January 2013, entitlements with a Long Term Average Annual Yield of 316 GL had been secured towards 'bridging the gap'.
A further 300 GL is expected to be recovered through future infrastructure projects.
The wide range of irrigation infrastructure projects and initiatives reflects local catchment-based feedback and input from state and regional partners.
In February 2013, a new opportunity for irrigation infrastructure operators to take the lead on strategic water recovery in their catchments was announced.
The Strategic Sub-system Reconfiguration Program is a new initiative to recover water for the environment and improve irrigation efficiency.
The program demonstrates the value of local knowledge and expertise driving better outcomes for the health of the Murray-Darling Basin. Decisions to reconfigure or decommission irrigation delivery infrastructure, with associated sale of permanent water entitlements, will be made at a local level, but the water recovered can contribute to the health of the whole basin.
The Australian Government announced funding of $200 million over four years for the Sub-system Reconfiguration Program to support irrigation communities as they transition to new water sharing arrangements under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
The new program was developed following consultation with irrigation industry leaders, and replaces the Irrigator-Led Group Proposals program.
For more information or to access application documentation, visit Strategic Sub-System Reconfiguration in the Murray-Darling Basin or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (toll free) 1800 218 478.
For more information on the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program, visit Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure
Water Recovery Strategy submission period extended
The submission period for the draft Water Recovery Strategy has been extended until 22 March 2013.
The extension is in response to community interest in the strategy. The department hopes the extra time will allow more interested individuals and organisations to comment on the Australian Government's proposed approach to water recovery.
The draft strategy sets out the Australian Government's proposed approach to recovering water for the environment in the Murray-Darling Basin. The government is investing in more efficient water delivery infrastructure, environmental works and measures as well as water purchasing.
If groups or individuals have already submitted comments and wish to make revisions, please contact the department.
To read the Environmental Water Recovery Strategy and make a submission visit Draft Environmental Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin.
Comments on the draft strategy can be submitted by email to: email@example.com, or by mail to the following address:
Water Recovery Team
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601