Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association

The Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association (GVIA) represents in excess of 400 water entitlement holders in the Gwydir Valley.

Our water entitlement holders are some of the most progressive in the world, actively engaged in, and innovating irrigated agriculture. From broadacre crops such as cotton to tree crops such as pecans, oranges and olives, our industry is diverse and productive. We are all acutely aware that reliability of water in the valley is low, and thus strive to Make Every Drop Count for the producer, the community and the environment.

Our vision is for the local irrigation industry, the environment and the Gwydir Valley community to have a secure, vibrant future, with the GVIA recognised as an industry leader.

The Gwydir Valley, centred around the town of Moree in north west NSW is an extremely productive agricultural region. Agriculture employs 20-30% of the population and contributes an estimate 7.8% of NSW’s total agricultural production. Irrigated agriculture is particularly important, contributing significantly to the social and economic wellbeing of the region.

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Read more about The Gwydir Valley »

Latest DAM Capacity

16.4%

Water Allocations

The Gwydir River System

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Olives

The irrigated olive industry was initiated in the Gwydir Valley over 25 years ago. Olives are a vertically integrated industry with the nationally recognised Gwydir Grove Olives the largest local producer and processor. In recent years the number of olive trees has declined as some producers have switched from olives into pecans.

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Oranges

Oranges are a new irrigation industry in the Gwydir Valley, with the majority of the trees planted since 2005. It is currently expanding with an expected area of 350Ha to be under production by 2020. The citrus industry in the Gwydir Valley is part of the locally owned and vertically integrated Grove Juice business.

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Pecans

The pecan industry is an important irrigation industry for the Gwydir Valley. Trawalla, owned and operated by Stahmann Farms is the largest in the region producing approximately 90% of Australia’s pecans. Australia is the fourth largest global producer of pecans. Stahmann Farms operate the country's only commercial pecan shelling, value-adding and packing plant.

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Broadacre Cropping

The Gwydir Valley is a diverse broadacre cropping region producing a range of both summer and winter crops. The primary winter crops include; chickpeas, wheat, barley, and more recently canola. While summer plantings include sorghum, faba beans, mung beans, maize and sunflowers. The majority of the broadacre cropping area is dryland.

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Cotton

Cotton is the most significant irrigated crop in the Gwydir Valley with an average of 70,000Ha. It is also an important dryland crop with an average of 79,000Ha annually. The area planted can fluctuate from year to year, being dependant on either available irrigation water and seasonal rainfall.

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Lucerne

Lucerne and Hay are niche crops in the Gwydir Valley covering an estimated 4,500Ha. Lucerne is produced primarily on smaller blocks and is irrigated by bore water entitlements. Hay production includes Lucerne, cereals and pastures.

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Turf

The turf industry has been a part of the irrigation industry of the Gwydir Valley for almost 20 years, but there are only two producers in the valley. It covers a very small area of only 20Ha and is irrigated by bore water entitlements. The primary species produced is Buffalo.

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The Gwydir Wetlands

The Gwydir Wetlands are a system of terminal delta wetlands, located downstream of the Gwydir River approximately 45kms west of Moree in north west NSW. They are recognised for their unique vegetation and bird breeding potential. The wetlands are estimated to consist of approximately 6,829Ha of semi-permanent wetland and 77,949Ha of floodplain wetland.

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Gwydir River - Gravesend Monitoring Gauge

WaterNSW monitor 51 river gauge locations in the Gwydir River and streams(418) using telemetry with data accessible in real time. These sites collect a range of information from flow rate, discharge volume and river heights and assist WaterNSW in their role of water delivery operators whilst providing an indication of water availability.

Water NSW Real Time Data

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Water Management

All water in the Gwydir is managed by water sharing plans established progressively since 2004. Currently 19% of long term Gwydir river flows and 85% of sustainable yield of the Lower Gwydir aquifer are available for irrigation. This has been reduced over time following reforms and water recovery for environment.

WATER SHARING PLANS AND OR WATER AVAILABILITY

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Groundwater Monitoring Network

The are a number of groundwater sources including the Lower Gwydir aquifer used for irrigation and the Great Artesian Basin, including recharge zones. WaterNSW monitor levels via 26 monitoring sites with data accessible in real time.

Groundwater provides reliable irrigation water, quality drinking water for towns and properties and is one of the region’s major tourism attractions.

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Copeton Dam

Copeton Dam is located on the Gwydir River upstream of Bingara on the north-west slopes of NSW. It is one of the largest inland dams in NSW with a capacity of 1,364,000 megalitres of water. It was initiated in 1966 to provide town water supplies and to boost irrigated agricultural production in the Gwydir Valley.

WATER SHARING PLANS AND OR WATER AVAILABILITY

Latest News and Events

 
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Many farms in the Gwydir Valley have gravity components internally, however there are limited numbers of gravity diversions for the purposes of accessing either regulated or unregulated water. You need to check your Works Approval via WaterNSW register selecting A particular water licence or approval (including conditions) if you know your 90AL number OR A particular property (in relation to water licences or approvals) to find your 90AL number using your Lot and DP.  
Then see what has been listed there - if it says diversion channel you have until 1 December 2021 to ensure your meter meets the new metering rules.  If not, you must meet the requirements for larger than 500mm diversions by this December or for smallers sites, 1 December 2021.
NOTING as per WSPs the metering installation can be located anywhere between the point of extraction and the first inlet/outlet locations.    

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Not all pipe diameters have AS4747 pattern approved meters available (see current list).  For example, whilst there is a meter approved to 1800mm it is only manufactured in 200mm diameter increments.  We encourage you to seek transitional arrangements for your existing meter provided it can meet those requirements available here.
Where that is not an option, you can request a S.233 of the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 from the Minister.
We have developed a template that captures the required site information and the evidence needed from your Certified Meter Installer to support why a metering solution is not currently available.  For example this has been used for a 1500mm pipe where there is not a pattern approved meter currently on the market.
Where this situation may apply to you, you should act quickly to seek the exemption before the required deadline.  Please contact the office to discuss.
Members click the link to see the metering updates.

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Tonight, the NSW Legislative Council voted to redact the Exemption Regulation on floodplain harvesting following the tabling of the Inquiry Report here.

This means FPH regulation now reverts back to the NSW Water Act 1912 and NSW Government has less tools to manage its take, including limiting the use of structures built after 2008.  The historical status quo has now been returned.  

The decision will divide NSW communities and is a distraction from what the NSW Government should be focusing on, which is the better regulation of this form of take within the  contemporary legislative framework of the NSW Water Management Act 2000.  

This decision doesn't impact water users as we clearly outlined in our submission but seeks to further undermine the communities confidence in water management in NSW through miss-information and petty politics.  

Only a fully implemented licencing regime with monitoring and compliance will address those concerns. Most speakers participating in the debate supported regulation through licencing,  due (before tonight) by July 2021 and we welcome their support of its continued implementation.

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.