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$1.45 million to boost Lachlan irrigators' on-farm water savings.

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PW 234/09 12 August 2009


Irrigators in the Lachlan Catchment of New South Wales will benefit from $1.45 million in funding to improve the efficiency of their infrastructure and practices as they prepare for a future with less water.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said the funding formed part of the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Pilot Projects announced earlier this year.

“A strong and vibrant future for irrigated agriculture, and for the communities and industries that depend on it, is central to the Australian Government’s vision of putting the Murray-Darling Basin back onto a sustainable footing,” Senator Wong said.

“Delivered through the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (CMA), this funding will help irrigators modernise their infrastructure and practices, securing water savings for themselves as well as for rivers and wetlands.

“The project is an example of the Government working closely with local organisations and farmers to help them adjust to a future with less water.

“Using water more efficiently and supporting healthy rivers are key priorities under Water for the Future, the Government’s $12.9 billion long-term water plan.”

The funding secured by the Lachlan CMA will be used for two projects:

Conversion of furrow irrigation to centre pivot sprinkler irrigation to increase efficiency in the face of reduced water availability. The project will involve laying pipes from two bores and one river pump site to irrigate 460 hectares through six centre pivot irrigators.

Increased water efficiency and water savings through design and implementation of an on-farm modernisation plan. The plan includes the construction of a water reservoir with an inlet wetland and improved irrigation tailwater capture and recirculation.

“The water savings generated from the projects will help the stressed rivers of the Lachlan catchment, returning an estimated 1,014 million litres of water to the environment.

“The experience and information gained from this program will also assist us as we roll out other programs, including the $300 million On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program, announced in May.

“This program will further help irrigators in the Lachlan and southern connected system of the Murray-Darling to modernise their on-farm irrigation.”