Millions for irrigators to reap benefits of water efficiency savings
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair has announced more than $50 million was up for grabs as part of round six, which is now open, and future rounds of the Sustaining the Basin Irrigated Farm Modernisation program.
The NSW Government is doing everything it can to make sure our farmers can be as efficient as possible – and as part of this program more than $43 million has already been committed to fund on-farm water infrastructure,” Mr Blair said.
“Our farmers are becoming more productive and I want to see more of them take up the opportunity – because we know if our farmers are more efficient they can generate better returns at the farm gate.”
Minister Blair also highlighted more than 4000ML of on-farm water savings are expected from the program’s round four outcomes, which he also announced while at Agquip Field Days in Gunnedah.
There were 10 successful projects in round four with 4209ML of water anticipated to be recovered and shared between irrigators and the environment.
“These projects save water that is currently lost from production on irrigators’ farms,” Mr Blair said.
“Of these savings over 1500ML will stay on-farm to provide a major production boost to irrigators while the remainder will be returned to the environment.”
These savings add to the 5370ML already recovered in earlier rounds that are now on-farm and contributing to productivity.
Projects are being funded in the Lower Namoi, the Border Rivers and the Barwon Darling Catchments.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said: “Eligible project areas for round six include the Namoi river catchment downstream of Keepit Dam, the NSW Border Rivers and the Barwon-Darling catchments. A range of surface water entitlements can be offered in these areas”.
Irrigators wishing to submit an application for funding must first have a verified Irrigated Water Use Efficiency Assessment completed by Thursday 1 October 2015.
Applications for infrastructure funding for round six close on 30 October 2015.
Department of Primary Industries’ program is funded by the Australian Government’s Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure program.
For more information: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/info/sustainingthebasin