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

8.9%

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

 
News |

The Gwydir Strategic Pest Management initiative that brings landholders and National Parks together in the management of feral pigs is well underway now. Despite the dry conditions there are still significant feral pig numbers out there, and they are still breeding, so we all need to remain vigilant in our control of these feral pests.
Monitoring cameras have been set up and a number of pigs have been fitted with ear tags and GPS collars. In the next few months we will be collecting data to get a better idea of the population density and their movements. Water, shelter and food are the three key drivers which influence how far pigs move and where they move to.
Critical to managing feral pigs is to use all control mechanisms. The LLS have a Winter Feral Pig Control Program running until the end of August, producers who are working with their neighbours trapping or baiting are encouraged to contract the LLS on 1300 795 299 to source grain for trapping and baiting.

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Soil Health Workshop is to be held in Moree from 10:30am on Thursday 29th August 2019 at the Town and Country Club. The workshop is aiming to improving knowledge on microbes, rotations, visual assessments and all things soil health. It will include a daytime discussion and theory session, followed by a visit to a soil pit and dinner to finish the day.
Presenters and panel representatives include Oliver Knox, Mike Stone, Brendan Warnock, Guna Nachimuthu, David Freebairn and Pathologist Duy Le.

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Criticism of the NSW Government’s socio-economic assessment included in part of the public release of the Murray to Broken Hill pipeline Business Case[1] outlining the decision to build a pipeline for an alternate water supply for Broken Hill (finished earlier this year) is trying to lay blaim on northern irrigators without justification once more.
Zara Lowien said “It seems there is no shortage of drought-deniers that claim we are either not in drought or that we’ve never had a critical water supply issue before” she said.
“They simply miss the fact that when it doesn’t rain, our rivers don’t flow and there’s no water for anyone.” she said.

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Current water availability in the Gwydir Valley has been updated following the July Resource Assessment.  The region remains in Stage 3 for Drought Management with Copeton Dam steady at 9%.  Current resources are secured for essential supplies, with limited carryover remaining (2,000ML for irrigators and 35,000ML for environment), although with loss accounts in deficit by 39,000ML, WaterNSW will work with water users to ensure coordination of releases or to utilise any natural inflows, if they occur.  This means that delivery of water allocation is not on demand and unlikely to provide for water deliveries west of the township of Moree.

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IAL are running a two day Meter Validation and Installation course in Moree on the 25th & 26th of September 2019. The course covers the new Australian Standards for control of rural water meter installation and validation, an explanation of the pattern approval process for meter manufacturers and what installers need to know when validating installations, site preparation, component installation, site reinstatement and commissioning and the field assessment of meter installations.
At completion of the course participants will have three units of competency towards certification for Meter Validation and Installation;
NWPIRR014  Install meters for rural water supplies,
NWPIRR022  Maintain meters for rural water supplies and
ACHWHS301 Contribute to work health and safety processes.

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The LLS are supporting a series of workshops designed to increase understanding of risks and opportunities in your farm business, identify gaps and improve the financial basis and natural assets or check the direction of your farm business. There will also be information on accessing funding for on-ground works or training.
A session will be held at Garah on Wednesday 21st August, for more information or to register contact Keith Walker on 0428 432 784 or keith.w.walker@lls.nsw.gov.au

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.