Grant initiative bolsters Queensland irrigation

Posted 20 September 2016

IrrigationBroadacre irrigators in Queensland's Murray-Darling Basin can now apply for federal funding for applications ranging from water flow meters to irrigation system redesign.

The grants are part of the third and final round of the Regional Economic Diversification Program, which was designed to stimulate economic activity in areas affected by water reductions under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

“$1 million in grant funding is available for eligible irrigators to improve their measurement and management of water assets,” said Queensland Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson.

“The areas within the Queensland Murray Darling Basin that will benefit most from this funding are the Darling Downs, St George, Dirranbandi, Texas, Inglewood, Goondiwindi and Mungindi.

“The funding is available for those with projects aimed at achieving a 10% lift in water productivity by adopting new water-use efficiency technologies.”

Equipment and services eligible for reimbursement under round three funding include water storage meters, wet storage seepage assessments, dry storage soil surveys, and irrigation and pump system performance evaluations.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries principal extension officer Graham Harris said grant funding totalling $644,000 had been provided in the first two rounds.

“With the funding provided to date, approved irrigators have been able to purchase and be reimbursed for a range of pre-approved items,” he said.

“Using the WaterTrack Divider, a cotton industry benchmarking tool developed by Aquatech Consulting, we have been working closely with participating irrigators to benchmark their on-farm water productivity.

“As a result of this three-year project, we expect to see increased economic activity and more profitable and resilient irrigation enterprises within the region.”

Eligible irrigators have until the end of September to apply for the funding online via the More Profit Per Drop website.