Murrumbidgee Irrigation says $126 million grant will allow it halve its water losses

Murrumbidgee Irrigation says a $126.48 million federal authorities grant will allow it to finish an nearly decade lengthy challenge to halve its water losses.

The funding will be spent on finalising automation works, reconstructing almost 20 kilometres of open channels to scale back evaporation and seepage, and making a 5000 megalitre ‘surge reservoir’.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation CEO, Brett Jones, mentioned the work would create 7.4 gigalitres in water financial savings.

“This is the final element of all of the works performed to make our system as environment friendly as doable,” Mr Jones mentioned. 

“This 7.4 gigalitres of financial savings add to the already over 50 gigalitres of financial savings we have achieved by the earlier packages, which successfully nearly halved the unique quantity of water that was misplaced all through the system.” 

A group of seven people stand in front of Murrumbidgee Irrigation banners.
Hayden Cudmore and Brett Jones, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, NSW Water Minister Kevin Anderson, Senator Perin Davey, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley, Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt and Jody Rudd, Murrumbidgee Irrigation on the funding announcement on Monday.  (Supplied: Murrumbidgee Irrigation )

Mr Jones mentioned the 5,000-megalitre ‘surge reservoir’ would allow farmers to water successfully at excessive move charges.

“They need to have the ability to flip actually excessive move charges on rapidly after which flip them off rapidly, so that they’re as environment friendly on-farm as doable. 

“These surge reservoirs round our system allow us to have the ability to discharge water into them when farmers flip them off rapidly.”

Up to 100 native jobs are anticipated to be created in the course of the challenge’s development part, which is because of start in May. 

Focus on ‘off-farm’ efficiencies to fulfill Basin Plan goal

Under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, 450 gigalitres of water should be recovered for the atmosphere by water effectivity packages by 2024.

But up to now, lower than 1 per cent of that concentrate on has been achieved.

Last yr federal Water Minister Keith Pitt axed the poorly performing Water Efficiency Program, which centered on enhancing water effectivity on-farm.

Instead, the federal government has invested in a $1.3 billion Off-Farm Efficiency Program, which incorporates grants of as much as $150 million for irrigation networks to modernise their techniques. 

An aerial picture of farmland and an irrigation channel in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in Leeton in south-western NSW
Murrumbidgee Irrigation is among the largest non-public irrigation firms in Australia, masking greater than 370,000 hectares. (Supplied: Murrumbidgee Irrigation)

Murrumbidgee Irrigation is just the second challenge to be authorised beneath this system up to now, however Mr Pitt mentioned it represented that it was making progress on the 450 GL goal.

“This [Murrumbidgee] program will ship round 7,400 megalitres of water financial savings, we have contracted for round 16,000ML in Victoria as nicely, so we’re transferring ahead, and these are good outcomes,” Mr Pitt mentioned. 

“I’ve dominated out additional buy-backs. We’re not doing that. It’s damaging to communities. 

In order for the Murrumbidgee Irrigation’s 7.4GL water financial savings to learn the atmosphere and group, 6.3GL of the irrigation firm’s conveyance allocation will be transferred to the atmosphere, and 1.1GL will be allotted to water customers and the group. 

“These packages have been assessed by my division, and naturally have been put ahead by NSW, they usually’re very sturdy when it comes to the science,” Mr Pitt mentioned. 

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