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The NSW Government has approved projects to a value of $12 million in the first round under the $83 million ‘Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation Project’.

Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson said 32 irrigators will receive funding for on-farm projects across the Macquarie, Namoi, Peel, Gwydir and Border Rivers regions.

“These projects are a true triple bottom line win for irrigators, the environment and regional communities,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“The first round of funding is going to a variety of water use efficiency projects including installing centre pivots, storage reconstructions, upgrades to pump stations, supply channels and subsurface drip systems through to field redevelopment.

“Assessments to support planning for a further 50 on-farm projects have been approved and will be carried out by irrigation consultants with expertise in assessing water use and developing irrigation infrastructure projects.”

The successful projects range from $51,000 to $2 million dollars and cover a wide range of activities across the project area, including:

  • Macquarie – installing a new reservoir, increasing the height of a reservoir reconfiguring and lasering fields to include increased head heights, upgrading pump sites, and installation of water control structures
  • Macquarie – converting a furrow irrigation to a drip irrigation system
  • Peel – a new centre pivot system including the installation of a new pumping unit and delivery pipes
  • Namoi – on-farm storage reconfiguration including a new pump station installation and earthworks.

Ms Hodgkinson said that helping irrigators to maintain or improve productivity and adapt to reduced water availability will support the long term sustainability of regional communities.

“The projects clearly demonstrate how NSW farmers can achieve water savings through infrastructure and maintain regional communities at the same time,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

An estimated 50 per cent of the projected water savings will be returned to the environment with the remaining water savings to stay on-farm to boost farm productivity and regional economic activity.

The project is funded by the Australian Government through the Water for the Future initiative and is part of the larger $500 million NSW Sustaining the Basin Project.

The second round of Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation Project funding is open until Tuesday April 30. Further information is available via www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/info/sustainingthebasin

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