Environmental water sale win-win

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Environmental water sale win-win

The Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association (GVIA) today welcomed the announcement by the NSW Government Minister for Environment, The Hon. Gabrielle Upton, announcing the opportunity for purchase of excess environmental allocation in the Gwydir Valley, amongst other Valleys in NSW.

Zara Lowien, Executive Office of the GVIA said “this is a great opportunity for the NSW Government to provide a genuine win-win for our local community during these dry times”
“We respect that the NSW and Commonwealth Government’s have purchased licenses just like irrigators own but for environmental purposes and that on this occasion NSW, have chosen to sell excess water allocations when productive supply is low and demand high.  Using the market this way, ensures the integrity of everyone’s water right is maintained and shows the maturity of the market and decision making around maximising environmental water portfolios” she said

“Any additional water that can be made available for production above the 40,000ML in accounts, without impacting the environments ability to meet their objectives, provides new opportunities for agricultural activity, to produce food, fibre and fodder.  This will generate much needed additional economic activity in our regional towns with local businesses reliant on agriculture, also feeling the pinch during the drought”.

“The added benefit from this sale is that funds will be held in trust to help fund drought priority projects, meaning that the benefits will extend beyond immediate agricultural activity and may also available help other communities that don’t have excess environmental water on sale” she said

“Whilst a sale volume is unknown at this stage, it’s unlikely that planned deliveries in the Gwydir for this season will be impacted, as they have already initiated watering in the Gwydir Wetlands with 13,000ML delivered from a total of 60,000ML planned and current environmental water reserves of 140,000ML support these actions plus others that are planned for later in the season” she said

“With Government’s aware that the Gwydir has more environmental water than required by legislators, the sale represents an opportunity for NSW to address the balancing of accounts even just on a temporary basis”.

“We know there is approximately 33,000 ML of General Security entitlement more than what is required by the Basin Plan, meaning we have been over-recovered.  This trade represents a fraction of that which should be available on a permeant basis for production in our region” she said.

“But it’s a good start” said Mrs Lowien.

For more information on current water availability see www.gvia.org.au.

Media Contact: Zara Lowien, 0427521399

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.