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 »

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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

 
Events |

The Moree AgTech Breakfast will be on Wednesday 19th June from 7:30 - 9:30am
Supported by UNE SRI and Cicada Innovations, the breakfast will delve into the future of agriculture, showcasing the power of technology and innovation in transforming Moree's and Australia's agricultural landscape.
Panellists include Oscar Pearse (Director of NSW Farmers Association), Lachlan Elworthy (Agronomist McGregor Gourlay), Jack Rickers (Hiringa Energy, green hydrogen), Sophie Venz (President of Young Aggies) facilitated by Brooke Sauer (owner & director of IntellectAg). Following the TED-style talks will be interactive discussions, Q&A and breakfast. 

Cost: $20

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/moree-ag-tech-breakfast-tickets-895726230267?aff=oddtdtcreator

Events |

Business NSW are conducting a re-run of the Workplace Law Training for Business Zoom webinar this Friday 17th May at 10am. It is free to register as a member of Moree Chamber of Commerce.
This is the 'blurb' to intro the webinar: Due to overwhelming popularity, we are excited to announce that we will run the Expert Industrial Relations Guidance: Workplace Law Training for Business webinar again, in partnership with Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors. Learn invaluable insights into the recent changes in workplace and industrial relations laws following the passing of the Closing Loopholes Bills.

You can register here:

https://businessnsw.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Vb226DQxTGKZnZUYN8iCdQ#/registration

News |

The NSW Irrigators Council April 2024 newsletter provides updates on issues important to irrigators across the state including;
The Connectivity Panel interim report
National Water Agreement
Water Market reform and
The Murray Darling Basin Update

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The NSW Government have released their Non-urban metering what we hear report. The main issues raised were:
- Availability of DQP's
- Call for greater flexibility and
- Simplification
- Cost of compliance. 
The report focuses primarily on the survey responses, but does acknowledge issues with need to ensure data system and equipment standards are "fit for purpose". 
For FPH: "Just over half of submissions (n=15) received recommended that the floodplain harvesting measurement policy be reviewed to ensure that it is practically effective, arguing that it is impractical and not currently fit-for-purpose." More details are available in the report. 

Events |

THe GVIA office will be closed from 22nd December 2023  through to 8th January 2024.

For any urgent inquiries, please call the office mobile numbers. 

News |

NRAR issued the following media release today confirming the NSW Government has two sets of rules for irrigators with water users with floodplain harvesting licences being treated inconsistently to all other water users - having no ability to nominate individual points of take and alternative systems, when a primary measurement device is not yet operable. Thus confirming the NSW Government intends to undermine the integrity of the process of issuing floodplain harvesting licences in the Gwydir Valley.

https://www.nrar.nsw.gov.au/news/water-users-cant-harvest-from-floodplain-during-wet-period-unless-they-have-compliant-meters

Information on NRAR's website on FPH Compliance is below

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.