Featured image: Off-farm water channel. Image courtesy of New South Wales Government 

The New South Wales Government is encouraging residents across the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan valleys to voice their opinion on two major infrastructure projects, which are part of the Australian Government’s $1.54 billion Off-farm Efficiency Program.

The Off-farm Efficiency Program is funded 100 per cent by the Australian Government, while New South Wales works with applicants to develop proposals and deliver projects. 

The first of the two off-farm infrastructure projects is helmed by Boxyards Road Water Group, which is seeking $8.8 million for a project that could deliver 340ML back to the environment.

The project would:

  • Construct 43km of stock and domestic pipelines to supply filtered water to properties along Boxyards Road at Booligal
  • Build a groundwater bore with a desalination plant to lock-in water security during drought
  • Deliver new storage tanks at the pump and filtration sites, and six on-farm water storage tanks to mitigate system outages

The second potential project is conducted by the Elwah Pumpers Group, which is seeking $15.8 million for the project that could deliver 410ML back to the environment.

The project would:

  • Construct a 23.3km new channel system
  • Line and realign 5.4km of existing channels
  • Upgrade a pump station
  • Install a new pump, electrical controls, easements, fencing and metering
  • Remove 37km of existing channels

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment’s Executive Director for Infrastructure Development, Lisa Hingerty, said the proposed projects would significantly improve water efficiency through the delivery of new and upgraded infrastructure.

“This is about improving and modernising water delivery systems and reducing water losses to increase the volume of available water for the environment, irrigation and local communities,” Ms Hingerty said.

“We are keen to hear directly from residents in Hay, Booligal and the surrounding regions on whether they support these water efficiency projects to ensure we are progressing work that provides the best outcomes for the community.”

Ms Hingerty said the New South Wales and Australian Governments are keen to work with industries across the state to identify existing and new water efficiency opportunities.

“Eligible projects include upgrades to irrigation networks and stock and domestic water systems along with urban, industrial and mining water infrastructure,” Ms Hingerty said.

“The Off-farm Efficiency projects will also provide a boost for the local economy by generating jobs for local people, as well as helping to deliver water to the Murray Darling Basin through new infrastructure that enables industries to make better use of the water they have while improving the health of the river system.”

To provide feedback, visit: Off-farm efficiency. Submissions are open until 27 November 2023. 

Featured image: Off-farm water channel. Image courtesy of New South Wales Government 

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