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On-farm water saving projects worth $23.5 million have been approved under the second round of the $83 million NSW Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation Project, NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has announced.

Ms Hodgkinson said 44 projects have been recommended for funding for projects across the Macquarie, Namoi, Peel and Border Rivers regions.

“These projects are beneficial for agriculture, the environment and regional communities,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“Irrigators in a number of regions – including Narromine, Trangie, Dubbo, Gunnedah Moree, Tamworth, Warren and Wee Waa – will save about 8.5 gigalitres of water through on-farm irrigation efficiencies delivered as a result of the second round projects.

“More than half of the projected water savings will be returned to the environment with the remaining savings to be used on-farm to boost farm productivity and regional economic activity.

“The projects clearly demonstrate the commitment of the NSW Government to achieving water savings through infrastructure and maintaining regional communities at the same time.”

Ms Hodgkinson said irrigators will contribute $5.9m, or about 25 per cent of the costs, to the second round of projects.

The successful projects cover a wide range of activities across the project area, including:

•             The installation of lateral and centre pivot irrigation machines

•             The upgrade of supply channels

•             The installation of recirculation systems

•             The reconfiguration of fields

•             The installation of new pumps and pump sites

•             The development of new storage dams

•             The installation of new drip irrigation systems

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

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