$137m funding for on-farm
water infrastructure projects
LANDHOLDERS along river systems in the Murray-Darling Basin are encouraged to apply for a share of $137 million to further improve on-farm water efficiency.
“Landholders who currently source stock and domestic water from inland rivers can apply for Basin Pipe program funding to install modern and efficient infrastructure to deliver a more reliable water supply,” says State Minister for primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson.
“Up to 80 per cent of the stock and domestic water supplied by channels, dams and creeks can be lost through evaporation and seepage.
“By replacing inefficient earth channels with pipeline schemes, the water efficiency gains made through this project could save up to 38,000 megalitres of high security water.
“Improved on-farm water use efficiency is a key measure to help meet the state-wide Sustainable Diversion Limits proposed by the Commonwealth Government’s Murray-Darling Basin Plan.”
“Basin Pipe funding is available for cost-effective measures to improve water delivery systems such as new pumps, pipes, tanks, troughs and associated infrastructure in exchange for stock and domestic water savings.
“Piping for irrigation channels is not included.
“The . . . government has consistently argued that upgrading or installing infrastructure enhances the long-term viability of farming communities and industries,” says Ms Hodgkinson.
“Infrastructure investments are the sensible and sustainable way of achieving the triple bottom-line outcomes that ensure all social, economic and environmental factors are realistically addressed.”
The NSW Office of Water has opened an expression of interest process via its website www.water.nsw.gov.au/mdb.
The $137 million Basin Pipe project is a key component of the State Priority Projects under the Commonwealth’s Water For The Future initiative.
Under the 2008 Murray–Darling Basin Agreement the Australian Government promised $708 million to the New South Wales Government for water infrastructure projects, of which $500 million has been signed over to date, Ms Hodgkinson says.