Have Your Say on Off-Farm Infrastructure To Boost Environmental Water

Written by: The Griffith Phoenix


Off-farm infrastructure proposals could return up to 750 megalitres of water to the environment.

Time is running out for Murrumbidgee and Lachlan Valley residents to have their say on two major infrastructure proposals that could return up to 750 megalitres of water to the environment through the Australian Government’s $1.54 billion Off-Farm Efficiency Program.

Submissions remain open until November 27, and the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Executive Director of Infrastructure Development, Lisa Hingerty said the 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.”

Boxyards Road Water Group is seeking $8.8 million for a project that could deliver 340 megalitres back to the environment.

The project would:

  • Construct 43 kilometres 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

Elwah Pumpers Group is seeking $15.8 million for a project which could deliver 410 megalitres back to the environment.

The project would:

  • Construct a 23.3-kilometre new channel system;
  • Line and realign 5.4 kilometres of existing channels;
  • Upgrade a pump station;
  • Install a new pump, electrical controls, easements, fencing and metering; and
  • Ensure 37 kilometres of existing channels are cost-effective.

Ms Hingerty said the NSW and Australian Governments were 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.”

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

Visit https://water.dpie.nsw.gov.au/water-infrastructure-nsw/grants-and-funding/off-farm-efficiency-program for more information and to provide feedback.

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