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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Latest DAM Capacity

8.4%

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

 
Events |

The independent expert panel appointed to study the social and economic conditions affecting communities in the Murray-Darling Basin will be in Moree on  Friday 18th October 2019 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at the Town and Country Club, 5 Frome St.
The panel wants to hear from communities to assess how lived experience aligns with analysis and research, understand key trends, drivers and impacts from water reform, and learn of community-led ideas and solutions.
Please register your interest in attending by email to: Independentpanel@mdba.gov.au stating that you will be attending the Moree session. Thank you.

News |

The NSW and Commonwealth Governments have significant natural assets in our region - NSW is responsible for land and water and the Commonwealth are the largest single water entitlement owner in the valley.  While a farmer is financially accountable for their decisions and socially accountable as custodians to manage their land - not to mention the rules and regulations they must abide by. Who are our government's accountable to when they make decisions on how they manage their assets? It's the community!
Zara Lowien said "Its important that the community are aware of what is done with the water that is delivered to these areas and how those decisions are made"...

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Today, the NSW Government announced that the it will adjust the first three start dates for the new metering rules, meaning the first roll-out date for larger than 500mm pipe diameters is now 1 December 2020.  This announcement, while welcomed and well-overdue, unfortunately fails to acknowledge that the NSW Government has failed to outline to water users what data logger or telemetry devices are approved for installation as part of the new regulations.  This decision is still pending. 

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Today, the GVIA launched two videos calling on the NSW Government to finalise their decision regarding changes to the NSW Non-urban Water Metering Regulations that were consulted on back in August 2019.  Executive Officer, Zara Lowien said "it's now less than two-months before the first deadline for water users to ensure their metering equipment meets the new rules and no one knows what data logger or telemetry units are approved for installation.  Without this decision,  no water user in NSW can be compliant.  Farmers all around NSW are under enough pressure already, enough is enough".   

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On Sunday 29th September Landline featured a story on the pig monitoring project that was completed in the Berrigal Creek region over the last three years. The collars used in that project are now in use for the GVIA project.
We have eight collared pigs and a camera grid monitoring pig movements in our region, as shown in the image of the collared boar. Area wide control activities will begin in the next few weeks. If we are to achieve our target 80-90% control we need everyone to be involved in effective control activities. 

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Groups across the northern basin communities would like to correct several claims made during an interview with Michael Condon on the ABC’s ‘Country Hour’ on 2 September 2019. These statements are demonstrably false, and not supported by any evidence. The fact that they were broadcast without challenge points to the lack of knowledge of water issues and the tendency to perpetuate opinion as fact, as in other recent ABC programs.

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.