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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you aware of pig damage in your crops or to livestock enterprises, but find it difficult to quantify the extent of the damage, and what
that equates to in dollar terms?
To answer this question, Local Land Services has worked with AgEcon to undertake a study that puts
figures on the real cost of feral pigs on several different enterprises and to compare control options.
Join the LLS online for our first webinar back for 2021. Register here.
11 Feb 2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dont Forget the GVIA has funds available to support producers in our region with the control of feral pigs. For more information
contact the office; 02 67521399
The Gwydir Valley is a distributary river system, which spreads our rivers and creeks across the Gwydir Floodplain which acts as a large
inland delta. Our rivers spill out naturally to these floodplains when they are full and spilling. Not every flood is the same, they
range in magnitude of height and duration and can occur from locally generated rain or from rainfall further upstream of the
Recent flood warnings in December 2020 were predicted because of upstream rainfall and inflows. This was a short, sharp and small flow
which has created limited flooding. For example, the height at Pallamallawa was half of that experienced in 2011 and 2012 when the
entire north-west was in flood. This flow also didn't contain a lot of water but its peak flow rate at Pallamallawa of 33,000 ML/day was
still higher than the operating capacity of the regulator and cannot be managed. Rather this water flows naturally, unmanaged by
WaterNSW to the watercourse the lowest point of our inland delta and towards the Gwydir Wetlands.
WaterNSW have announced supplementary access in the Gwydir Valley which shares unregulated flows 50:50 between the environment and water
users. This is following recent localised rainfall below Copeton Dam between 100-200mm with more inflows expected as ungauged inflows are measured. Current announcement between 5-20% depending on on your location equalling approximately 14,000 megaltires. You must
place an eligible water order.
An operations update on current river flows is available from WaterNSW.
Recent localised rainfall in the Gwydir Valley means the region is fortunate enough to have generated local unregulated inflows below
Copeton Dam. The flow rate and volume means localised flooding will occur and moderate and minor flood warnings have been issues for some
sections of the river.
These natural inflows come at a time when general security users are on just 5% allocation and Copeton Dam is at 13%. Current interested
general security users were receiving their allocation in bulk to reduce losses, this has provided connectivity in most sections of the
Our water sharing plan rules set a clear and transparent process to ensure flows for connectivity and our internationally recognised
wetlands, whilst sharing any surplus water to benefit our community, it’s people and it’s economy.
The BOM also provided flood warnings in the Gwydir Valley, on the Gwydir River at Gravesend a minor warning with moderate downstream of
Pallamallawa and minor warning for the Mehi River. Flows are estimated to be above the safe operating level of river infrastructure
and will be largely unmanageable. They will naturally flow towards the watercourse area to peak at this stage Friday evening.
Keep updated via the BOM flood watch and be safe.
If you become aware that your meter is not working or is faulty, it is your responsibility to register using a s.91i self reporting
process within 24 hours . You have 21 days then to have a Duly Qualified Person inspect your meter. This process is also to be used if you have recently
installed an approved local intelligence device (telemetry unit) as per the NSW non-urban Metering Rules and for some reason it is not
connecting to the Data Acquisition Service or functioning correctly.
Provided you have a fully functioning water meter with data logging capability or are keeping appropriate records according to your licence
conditions of water take, time, volume and purpose, you are not required to lodge a s.91i self report to access water ordered during this upcoming bulk delivery, even if you are awaiting final validation of your meter or install of your telemetry according
to the new NSW non-urban Metering rules.
This delivery presents an opportunity for water users with approved water orders, to undertake flow testing and operational checks required to finalise your validation process, please let your DQP know your delivery schedule.
You must keep records of your effort to be compliant by your required deadline according to NRAR's
Compliance Approach and
the proposed industry implementation schedule.