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.


Read more about The Gwydir Valley »

Latest DAM Capacity


Water Allocations

The Gwydir River System



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 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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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 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 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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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


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.



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.


Latest News and Events

Events |

The Water engagement roundup is a live monthly webinar update about ongoing and upcoming engagements and consultation on important water policy, reforms and programs for NSW. This month we focus on the NSW Groundwater Strategy.

Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Time: 11:00 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales)

Duration: 1 hour

News |

The Habitat Action Grants are funded from the Recreational Fishing Trusts which direct revenue generated by the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee towards onground actions to improve fish habitat and recreational fishing in NSW. 
Angling clubs, individuals, community groups, local councils and organisations interested in rehabilitating fish habitats in freshwater and saltwater areas throughout NSW can apply for grants of up to $40,000.
Habitat rehabilitation projects which may be funded include:

  • removal or modification of barriers to fish passage
  • rehabilitation of riparian lands (river banks, wetlands, mangrove forests, saltmarsh)
  • re-snagging waterways with timber structure
  • removal of exotic vegetation from waterways and replace with native species
  • bank stabilisation works.

Grants are open until the 29th of September 2023

Job Opportunities |

 CottonInfo’s three key focuses are to:

  • Improve the rate and reach of R&D adaption and adoption
  • Enable successful cotton industry expansion
  • Respond to biosecurity threats and assist in the event of natural disasters
The Role

With the incumbent moving on, there is now the need for a replacement CottonInfo Program Lead. Reporting to the CRDC GM Communications and Extension and working closely with the joint venture partners, the role is responsible for leading the extension program and supporting a team facilitating the adoption of R&D in the Australian cotton industry.
The CottonInfo Program Lead is responsible for shaping, implementing and delivering against the CottonInfo strategic plan in this execution role, influencing the team delivering key information to market.
This includes delivering on KPI’s around:
  • Leadership
  • Achievement of goals
  • Implementation of campaigns
  • Facilitating engagement with industry  

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.