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 |

The realities of metering statistics are very different to the story being communicated by NRAR.  

Valley based tracking of progress is available via NRAR and is presented on our new page below.  Here we also capture the key barriers encountered by different users in these different categories.  We thank everyone for their efforts to comply and despite some of the media coverage, we encourage you to keep up the good work. 

There will be significant challenges for Stage 2 - administratively, as well as in terms of resourcing with 7,601 istes in the northern inland required to be compliant to the new rules by 1 December 2021.  Please do not leave contacting a DQP if you are in this next stage to the last minute.

News |

WaterNSW would like to remind customers that supplementary water is available with unregulated inflows occuring downstream of Copeton Dam.  

These flows are providing water right along our river systems, the first 500ML/day are being delivered to the wetlands but any flows greater than that are being shared 50:50 between the environment and customers.  WaterNSW indicated downstream tributary inflows greater than the minimum flow to the wetlands are being diverted away from this area where possible, unless ordered by customers.  These rules and this operations, are enabling sharing of flows along our rivers and and beyond with more than 40,000ML flowing past Collarenbri from the Mehi alone this last month.  

Contact WaterNSW via email at RiverOpsNorth@waternsw.com.au, or alternately by contacting Roger Hunt or Ken Gee.  

News |

Copeton Dam has been rising since December 2020 since catchment wide rainfall began to fall with around 600GL of inflows over this time.  This rising  trend is being followed right around NSW, with the current state-wide storage capacity at 74% (Copeton Dam just below the state average at 63%).

However, percentages don't tell the whole story in the context of total water available around the state. 

The northern basin has 71% availability equalling, 1,982GL of water, the central west is above the state average at 75% with 2,230GL of water available and the souther basin also above the state average at 77% full has 8,876GL of water available. We set up a new page on our website to explore this here.

News |

Irrigators argue NRAR's statement was misleading given some works fell into that category due to factors outside their control - such as back-log in the supply and installation of government-approved meters and telemetry equipment.

Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) announcing they were taking enforcement action after statewide inspections found 45 per cent of inspected pumps were still not fitted with compliant meters.

GVIA said: "Its hard to be compliant to new rules when in some instances there isn't an approved replacement meter available or if your still waiting for it to arrive after ordering it.  Many of these replacement meter jobs you cannot just buy a meter and stick it in a pipe, they're custom built and designed and take significant planning and lead time.
 We'd like to thank our local service providers for their perseverance with these new rules, your patience in trying to solve these complex problems bought about by a poorly formed set of rules.  We are grateful for all your effort for the industry so far. "

Events |

DPIE is currently seeking watercourse landholder input to develop business cases for the Lower Gwydir and Gingham Watercourses, Lower Mehi River and Ballin Boora Creek.

Over the next few months they will be working with the local community to develop the business case. There will be a series of community gatherings followed by local workshops to: discuss project objectives and opportunities, bring local knowledge and community needs into the scoping of potential measures, create strategies for on-ground outcomes.

Landholders in the project area should have received information in the mail however if you are located in the project area and did not receive a letter please contact us.    The community gatherings from next Monday 19 July – 22 Thursday July 2021

Find out more:

Online: environment.nsw.gov.au/nbtk/gwydircmp

Email: gwydir.cmp@environment.nsw.gov.au

News |

The resource assessment for Copeton Dam up to 30 June 2021 was made available with the first allocation for the year being granted to general security water users and the ECA of 11.1%.  This bring the irrigation total water availability for this year, including carry over to 264,400ML while environmental accounts hold 125,600ML. 

Supplementary water announcements are also ongoing with inflows below Copeton Dam being shared 50:50 with the environment after the first 500ML are provided to the Gwydir Wetlands.  

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.