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

0%

Water Allocations

The Gwydir River System

×

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.

Read more

×

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.

Read more

×

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.

Read more

×

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.

Read more

×

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.

Read more

×

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.

Read more

×

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.

Read more

×

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.

Read more

×

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.

WATER SHARING PLANS AND OR WATER AVAILABILITY

×

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.

Read More

×

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

 
News |

WaterNSW advised releases from Copeton Dam have decreased to 5,000ML/day.  Copeton Dam remains steady at 99% capacity, with all accounts at their maximum allocation. 

The water releases take 4-5 days before reaching Pallamallawa.

The Gwydir River at Yarraman remains at a minor flood level, with additional inflows below Gravesend combining with spill releases from Copeton Dam.  Keep an eye on the BOM weather warnings for any flood warning updates. 

News |

From 1 December 2021, along with the last stage of new metering requirements for the Valley the NSW Government also kicks of new reporting needs.

These are for water users that use their work for multiple purposes and they require you to report the split in your licensed water and Basic Landholder Rights use, to ensure water is not deducted off your license.  Without reporting, all the water use measured will be considered licensed.  The rules also include self meter reads for those water users who do not have telemetry.  The rules are explained here https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/metering-archive/new-reporting-rules .

The rules are rather Draconian for water users that do not use water for irrigation but have a licensed attached to the work and therefore have the potential to irrigate, as you need to add up the water used each month and report it as BLR.  We would encourage you to write with your first report, complaining about these requirements as you are not an active irrigator but want to use the work for Basic Landholder Rights.  We did provide a submission at the time which was clearly ignored. 

The attached approved form, which also has to be used is provided in the below link.

News |

WaterNSW advised that releases from Copeton Dam were increased to 16,000 megalitres per day and again, to 20,000 megalitres per day to account for recent rainfall upstream at Bundarra and with the current forecast.  

These flows are now meeting with existing inflows and the the flows are larger and more sustained than the stream capacity of any system, downstream (West) of Moree township being: the Lower Gwydir and Gingham, Mehi, Moomin and the Carole and Gil Gil systems. Flooding in low lying areas or known chokes in these systems is likely as a result of these flows and that is before any further inflows.  Flooding is already occurring along the Lower Gwydir, Gingham and Carole systems from earlier this week and local inflows.  

For a comparison of past floods, their heights and flow rates please visit our webpage History of Flooding, whcih was updated to reflect the flood already this week. 

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.