The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has announced the first round of funding is now open for eligible irrigators under the $83 million Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation Project.


The DPI’s acting manger natural resource advisory services, Kate-Lorimer-Ward, said funding is now available to help irrigators who use general security water in the NSW Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi, Pool, Cudgegong and Macquarie catchments identify water efficiency opportunities.


"The project provides a unique opportunity for irrigators to improve operational efficiencies, save money, upgrade irrigation infrastructure and ensure the long term sustainability of our rural communities," Ms Lorimer-Ward said.


"Funding will be directed to a wide range of projects such as installing improved irrigation systems, improvements to water storages, piping of channel delivery systems and a range of irrigation infrastructure upgrades such as irrigation scheduling tools.


The funding and support package for eligible irrigators includes:

  • Up to 80 per cent of funding (to a maximum of $4,000 per farm) to undertake an irrigated farm water use efficiency assessment to identify water savings opportunities;
  • Up to 80 percent of the project costs to implement approved water saving infrastructure projects;
  • Training opportunities to assist irrigators in the operation and management of new or upgraded infrastructure to achieve the forecast water savings.


The first round of funding closes on 30 November 2012, with a second round closing in April 2013.


"Irrigators are invited to attend one of the community meetings to find out more about the project and discuss their eligibility to apply for funding," Ms Lorimer-Ward said.


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