Consultation is being sought to ensure new irrigation upgrade projects in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District do not have any negative socio-economic impacts and will deliver positive outcomes for regional communities through upgraded water delivery systems and regional investment.
The large-scale infrastructure projects are designed to save 16 Gl of water through reducing system losses, and fulfill Victoria's obligation for water recovery without any buybacks, transfer of entitlements to the Commonwealth or removal of water from consumptive use.
Under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, the states are required to put forward 62 Gl of water-saving projects in order to receive credit for the 650 Gl of environmental offset projects in the plan.
The projects ensure there will be no water taken from Victorian irrigators. Without these projects there is a risk of further buybacks in the GMID.
The 16 Gl savings will be achieved through infrastructure modernisation, including in backbone irrigation channels and the Shepparton East irrigation system.
The backbone transformation project will treat up to 240 km of channel across five of the six irrigation areas in the GMID and deliver a modernised connection to about 545 Goulburn-Murray Water customers.
The Shepparton East project will deliver a modernised connection to about 198 G-MW customers by upgrading the non-backbone channels that remain un-modernised.
“I fought hard to ensure the community would have a say on these projects and encourage feedback on these proposals to help achieve the best outcome for the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District,” Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville said.
The $177.5 million project is funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and will support nearly 1000 GMID irrigators with upgraded and more efficient infrastructure, while creating 1000 local jobs in construction and project delivery.
G-MW has already been working with its customers to develop the new proposals.
The projects are separate to the $2 billion Connections project scheduled to finish works in October.
Consultation closes on September 11 and can be completed by visiting: engage.vic.gov.au/gmw-water-efficiency-project